Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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From May 2011 onwards Dickens’s life, works and legacy will be explored in a series of exhibitions across the globe. Major loans between Dickens collections and other museum sites will provide visitors with exciting opportunities to see and experience what inspired Dickens to become one of the world’s greatest writers and to find out more about the times he lived in. London and UK will host a number of special commemorative exhibitions while venues in France, Switzerland and US will also show the rich heritage of Dickens’s life.

Charles Dickens on Tour: The Belfast Public Readings

This special exhibition tells the story of the great author's three Belfast reading tours, in 1858, 1867, and 1869.

Dickens and the Artists

The exhibition at Watts Gallery will explore the connections between Charles Dickens and the visual art from June 2012

Coming up


2 June – 28 October 2012
Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Summer exhibition opens to the public this Saturday, 2 June. Celebrating the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, the exhibition illustrates the relationship between the fictional worlds Charles Dickens created in his novels and the historical reality in which he lived.

Drawing on the Bodleian’s unparalleled collection of printed ephemera, the Dickens and his World exhibition depicts in a unique way the life and times in which the novels and stories of this great writer were set.

On display will be playbills, advertisements, murder sheets, maps, panoramas, sheet music, playing cards and prints which will aim to recreate Dickens’ world and take the visitors on a journey back in his time. These items will be accompanied by quotations from Dickens’ novels, thus revealing how the historical reality of the Victorian times is mirrored in his writings.

There will be sections on Victorian London and its amusements; the coming of the railways; domestic entertainment; and school life for children. The exhibition will also look at the many stage adaptations that were often performed before the novels had completed their serialization and the plays Dickens produced and acted in, sometimes privately.

The exhibition makes the vibrant world of Dickens and his characters come alive by reproducing key extracts from the novels; these sit alongside a selection of the original book covers as they appeared weekly and monthly in the bookshops, their illustrations and all the paraphernalia of nineteenth-century advertising.

The Sea Rises at Aspex Gallery

May 2012
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth

In May 2012, Aspex Gallery will launch The Sea Rises, an artist’s commission that springs from A Tale of Two Cities. Being considered a revolutionary novel, it was one of the few western novels not banned in China during the Cultural Revolution.

A Charles Dickens Christmas Festival - Southport, NC

November 30 and December 1, 2012
Southport, NC

The CHARLES DICKENS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL event will take place on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, 2012, in the city of Southport, NC. The purpose of the CHARLES DICKENS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL is to promote arts and culture; attract customers to local businesses and arts venues; and to create community goodwill while partnering with Brunswick County art organizations.

A variety of different events will be held in the two days, including: a kick-off parade, a Christmas tree lighting, band and choir concerts, costume contests, literary readings, performances by the Winding River Players, the Ocean Ridge Singers, etc. The plays “What the Dickens” and “The First Noelle” will also be performed. Many merchants in Southport will be decorating their shops and dressing in period style.

Advanced tickets will be on sale at various locations, including the Southport/ Oak Island Chamber of Commerce, as well as at the BAC website, www.brunswickartscouncil.org.

Tickets will sell for $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 7-12, and free for children 6 and under. Groups of 20 or more will receive a 5% discount.

Boz and Phiz: Writer and Artist

Opening 25th August to 30 November 2012
Stanley Athenaeum, Stanley Victoria AUSTRALIA

Boz ans Phiz: Writer and Artist'- showcases the Dickens books from the Stanley Athenaeum Collection, established in 1863 the collection is significant for its intactness, the collection along with its furniture and fittings is still housed in the original building in tthe main street of the small town of Stanley in Northeast Victoria. The exhibition includes copies of Chapman and Hall volumes published in 1861, that reflect the contemporary interest of Stanley readers for the works of Charles Dickens and further volumes from 1890's, 1930's and 1950's.

Santa's Grotto at the Museum of London

Until 23 December 2011
Museum of London, UK

Come and meet Santa in our traditional Victorian grotto in our Victorian Walk. Tell him your Christmas wishes and receive a special present in advance of the big day. Book in advance on 020 7001 9844. Child Grotto entry £5 (including gift).

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