Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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Literature & Education

Dickens believed that enriching people’s life with knowledge and enjoyment of the arts was key to building a fair society and creating opportunities. Dickens 2012 is committed to following Dickens’s educational mission by supporting learning activities around the world, from teachers’ conferences and family workshops to creative writing master classes and writing competitions.

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 Grotesque

International conference exploring 'the grotesque' in the fiction of Charles Dickens and other European novelists

Coming up

A Curiously Wicked Christmas Carol

13th December 2012
The Edwardian Chocolate Rooms, 18 Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1NS

An Edwardian Evening of Curiously Fine Food, Jolliness, Entertainment and Much More! Welcome With a glass of warm mulled wine and Christmas Carols sung by a professional choir Followed by A three course meal with each course inspired by the past, present and future Followed by Coffee and hand made petit fours from our world class award winning chocolate shop Close up table magic entertainment by professional magician as well as a good few surprises along the way to keep you entertained in the way Charles Dickens would have approved of!

A Dickens of a time: Lessons in social transformation from a national treasure

All Hallows by the Tower Church, Byward Street, EC3R 5BJ

"A Dickens of a time: lessons in social transformation from a national treasure" In this 200th anniversary year since the birth of well loved author Charles Dickens, what can we learn from him for society today in the 21st century? Dickens often writes of oppression of the poor, intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and poor working conditions and he challenged the political powers of the day to act humanely towards the marginalised in society. Has much changed 200 years later or is London today still a "tale of two cities"?

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley talks Charles Dickens

16 December 2011
Wanstead Library, London

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley will be signing copies of her new illustrated biography of Charles Dickens published by Andre Deutsch. She will also be giving a talk. Contact vivian@newhambooks.co.uk for more information.

Hosted by The English Literary Society of St. Stephen's College, Delhi this is a two-day celebration of 200 years of Charles Dickens.
The schedule is as follows:

Day 1: 1st November 2012, from 2 PM onwards
Panel Discussion with Dr Sambudha Sen and Dr Christel Rashmi Devadawson
Creative Writing Competition and Caricature Making Competition

Day 2: 2nd November 2012, from 2 PM onwards
Readings and Songs by Reuben Israel
Student Paper Presentation Competition

One City One Read

Portsmouth (UK)

Festival 2012 will celebrate Oliver Twist as the book of the year. Events at community centres will ensure the Dickens's celebrations, and access to performance and literature, ripple out across the city engaging a wider audience.

'A Christmas Carol'

21 and 22 November 2012
Performing Arts Centre, North London Collegiate School, Canons, Canons Drive, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7RJ

Charles Dickens' famous tale of Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation has been dramatized by John Mortimer and retains Dickens' own ironic point of view through the use of a Chorus. Students from Years 8 and 9 will bring all the much loved characters, including the misery Scrooge, the loving Cratchits and faithful Nephew Fred, to life in this production which will celebrate and mark the bicentenary of Dickens' birth.


London, 1851. The mortuaries are full with victims of a brutal child killer and the city is in a state of alarm. The newspapers are rife with rumour. Who is the Beast and where will he strike next?
Young Will Jakesbere travels to London hoping to report on the illustrious career of Inspector Bucket of the Detective. But it is not long before he finds himself caught up in the chase for the sinister Beast.
Meanwhile, across town, a father is in a frantic search of his own – to locate his missing son. How will these two fates collide and will Bucket ever catch his man?
Inspired by Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, Inspector Bucket and the Beast is a new murder mystery featuring the enigmatic Inspector Bucket.

PETER COOPER is a lost Londoner living in Yorkshire between sheep and hens, dreaming of alleys, courtyards and the city lights. You can find more of his Inspector Bucket stories in issues three and four of the ‘What the Dickens? Magazine’ on kindle and online at wtd-magazine.com, as well as in ‘Stations’, from Arachne Press. Peter is also the author of ‘The Carebot’ in ‘Mirador’s Fantasgamoria’. You can find him online at petercooperstellingtales.com

ISBN: 978-0956696724
Price: £12.99
Kindle price: £2.49

National Dickens Readers Day

4 November 2012
Lancaster Library, Market Square, Lancaster, LA1 1HY

National Dickens Readers Day: A day for all readers, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Dickens birth, and featuring Claire Tomalin (Dickens biographer), Ronald Frame (author of "Haversham"), and speakers from Lancaster University, The Reader Organisation and The Reading Agency about the relevance and power of reading Dickens today. A whole day of celebration including exhibition, lunch, goody bags and a walk "in the footsteps of Dickens in Lancaster".

Texts, Contexts and Intertextuality: Charles Dickens as a Reader

7-9 June 2012
University of Vechta, Germany

Dickens is known as a prodigious producer of texts and contexts; but to what extent Dickens was also a reader and processer of texts, treatises and literary works has scarcely been focused on. Densely packed with action and teeming with highly original characters his novels give the impression that they are the products of the 19th century and came into being like Fagin: in a process of abiogenesis, engendered out of muddy regions of Victorian urban life and burgeoning capitalism. 

Contributions are invited on any aspect of Dickens’s wide reading and the way he re-used it in his texts.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Lennartz / Dieter Koch MA                                                                      

norbert.lennartz@uni-vechta.de/ dieter.koch@uni-vechta.de


Cityread in London

April 2012
London, UK

London Libraries will be celebrating Dickens’s bicentenary with a city-wide read of Oliver Twist.  We’re inviting London’s residents, visitors and students to find out more about the book, its author, and London’s history in a month-long programme of events in libraries, cinemas, museums and other venues, and online.

This will be London’s first ever pan-London community reading festival, with all 33 of the capital’s library services hosting a programme of more than 300 events during April 2012, including book groups, children’s events, local studies walks, author readings, film showings and more.

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