Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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Discover the treasures of Chalk and its connection with Charles Dickens. Here he spent his honeymoon with his new bride, Catherine Hogarth; and it was here that he wrote the early installments of 'The Pickwick Papers'. He also used the old forge in the village as a model for Joe Gargery's cottage in 'Great Expectations'. The building still stands as a historically listed building. The walk starts at 2.30pm.


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Chalk Church Tour and Readings

Chalk Church, Kent (UK)

Just on the outskirts of Gravesend in Kent, there has been a church in Chalk for well over a thousand years, with strong associations both literary and biographical with Charles Dickens. As part of the bicentenary celebrations, enjoy a tour of the church, once so special to Dickens and travel to the past with some of his readings. The tour will start at 2.30pm.


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The Penny Readings

British Library, London (UK)

Celebrate the beginning of Dickens’s bicentenary year with a fantastic ensemble of writers, musicians, magicians and very special readers including writers Louis de Bernières, A S Byatt and Charles Dickens’s great great great granddaughter Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, actor Anna Maxwell Martin, comedian Arthur Smith, Tweedy the clown and magician Paul Zenon. Hosted by Christopher Green and music hall legend Ida Barr. From the 1840s onward Charles Dickens travelled far and wide giving readings. Priced at a penny, so that the most people could attend, they entertained huge and enthusiastic audiences. Join us for a fabulous and fun revival of the tradition –  all for just one penny! Presented in association with Vintage Classics and The Reader Organisation. The Reader Organisation have coordinated the unmissable Penny Readings in Liverpool for the past eight years and this year, as they expand their Get Into Reading project across the city, they bring the event to London for the very first time. Entrance one penny (collected on the day). From 2 - 4.30pm. Booking essential.


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Acclaimed actor and writer Simon Callow portrays Dickens as a man driven as much by performance and showmanship as by literary endeavour. Dickens was one of the first ‘celebrity’ authors, a dazzling mimic and raconteur who brought his vast array of characters to life in front of thousands of fans at readings both in Britain and across the Atlantic. From 6.30pm. £7.50 / £5 concessions.


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Dickens Thanksgiving Services

Upper Chapel, Sheffield (UK)

Rev. David Shaw, with the help of members of Sheffield Dickens Fellowship, will conduct two services of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Charles Dickens.


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Sheffield Dickens Fellowship - Readings

Waterstones, Orchard Square, Sheffield (UK)

Mike Gardner will entertain attendees with readings from his favourite - and funny - passages from Dickens's novels.


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Dickens and Sheffield Lecture

United Reform Church, Sheffield (UK)

Valerie Bayliss and Shirley Foster from the South Yorkshire Victorian Society present a public lecture exploring the reactions of Dickens and other Victorian luminaries on visiting Sheffield. 7pm for 7.30. £2 admission charge. In association with the Sheffield Dickens Fellowship.


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Dickens and the Grotesque

Maison des Sciences Humaines, Clermont-Ferrand (France)

International conference organised by the CELIS (Centre de Recherches sur les Littératures et la Sociopoétique, EA 1002) on ‘the grotesque’ in Charles Dickens and European fiction. Often perceived as the combination of the frightening and the ludicrous, the grotesque makes itself felt in 19th-Century novels, and more particularly in Charles Dickens’s fiction. Abstracts (300 to 500 words) together with a brief CV are welcome by 1 March 2012 to Isabelle Hervouet-Farrar (isabelle.farrar@univ-bpclermont.fr) and Max Véga-Ritter (max.vegaritter@gmail.com).


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Chapter One. I Am Born: 200 Years of Charles Dickens

Dunedin City Library, Dunedin, New Zealand

The latest exhibition of the Dunedin Public Libraries commemorates the birth and legacy of famed Victorian novelist Charles Dickens. First and early editions of Dickens’s works, some of which in their original monthly parts, take centre stage. Important features of the exhibition are the original letters by Dickens and the surviving manuscript fragment of his short story 'Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgings'. Dickens’s life and writings have inspired countless biographies and scholarly works, and a selection from the nineteenth century to the present day is displayed. Rounding out the exhibition will be a range of secondary material demonstrating how Dickens’s legacy has been conveyed in popular and literary culture, and ephemera from the former Dunedin Dickens Fellowship.


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Celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens - a talk by Lucinda Hawksley

The Waterhall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK

Most people know about Dickens the novelist but far fewer know about Dickens the man. During this talk, Lucinda Hawksley talks about her new book, written to celebrate the bicentenary of her great great great grandfather. Lucinda will talk about the lesser know aspect of Dickens’s life, as a husband and father, his talent for acting, desire to be a detective, and love of travelling. She will also talk about his social conscience, the changes he made in his society, and why he still remains relevant today. Advance booking required Tickets £6.00 (£4.00 for Art Fund members). 


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