I have to throw in a bit of a warning here. I don't care for Dickens much, but that's really beside the point.
While it is true that "great works" stand the test of time, for the majority of history, those who have bestowed this mantle of superiority have been men, mostly white men, in the Academy. For hundreds of years, it has been men who decide what goes into an anthology. Therefore, these texts are read over and over again and eventually are deemed "great." Works of equal or even "greater" brilliance have been dismissed or considered not up to par with the writings of women and minorities.
The standards by which a book enters the canon, therefore, are judged by the values those men hold. As one of my favorite critics, Nina Baym, argues, there is a "bias in favor of things male -- in favor of say, a whaling ship rather than a sewing circle, as a symbol of the human community."
Just something to chew on.