Congratulations to the Dickens Society of Baltimore for becoming an official branch of the Dickens Fellowship! (H/T The Buzfuz) This makes it the branch of the Fellowship closest to me. I may have to look into joining up with them!
Speaking of the Fellowship, I'm getting ready to go to their annual conference, starting next week in Chicago, where I will get to meet up with Dickensblog reader and frequent guest blogger Rachel McMillan! (Charles Dickens: bringing people together since 1836.) As I did the last time I was away, I plan to set up some quotes from various Dickens novels to run on the blog while I'm gone. I already have some requests left over from last time that I can use (Nicholas Nickleby, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Christmas Carol, Little Dorrit, and HardTimes)but if you have any more novels that you'd like me to quote from, please let me know in the comments section on this post. Thanks!
And I'm sure Rachel and I will both have lots to share when we get back!
The Leicester Mercury has a photo of an 1858 advertisement for one of Dickens's readings of A Christmas Carol. Can you imagine what it would have been like to open your newspaper and see something like that?
In an Independent article about four descendants of famous Britons, 21-year-old drama student Ollie Dickens is one of those featured. He gives a delightful interview about what it was like to discover the significance of his heritage ("it hadn't been blown out of proportion, he really did know how to write"); his love for A Christmas Carol; and how he likes to think that he (like his relatives Harry Lloyd and Gerald Dickens) inherited some of his ancestor's acting genes.
Everyone's talking Oscars tonight, so let's get into the swim! Here, with help from IMDb, is a list of the films based on Dickens's books that have received Academy Awards and nominations over the years:
Scrooged (1988): nominated for Best Makeup.
Little Dorrit (1988): nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1984): nominated for Best Short Film, Animated.
Scrooge (1970): nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Song ("Thank You Very Much"), and Best Score.
Oliver! (1968): won Best Picture, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Score for a Musical, and an honorary award for choreography (Onna White). Also nominated for Best Actor (Ron Moody), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Wild), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.
Great Expectations (1946): won Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and White. Also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), and Best Writing, Screenplay.
A Tale of Two Cities (1935): nominated for Best Picture and Best Film Editing.
David Copperfield (1935): nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Assistant Director. (Imagine nominating the assistant director and not the director! I wonder what that was all about.)
What do you suppose Mr. Dickens would wear on the red carpet? Something very dashing, I would think, considering his love for fancy clothes!
The Invisible Woman is a film that goes to great lengths to uncover the hidden Dickens, a Dickens unfamiliar to those who enjoy his happy endings and the moralistic brushstrokes that redeem Scrooge through Bob Cratchit’s tightly knit family.
Here, Ralph Fiennes has taken the sordid side of Dickens from Claire Tomalin’s biography of Ellen “Nelly” Ternan, and infused it into the film with no lack of passion, but a great deal of narrative depth and integrity. After the Toronto screening I saw, director/star Ralph Fiennes and his co-star Felicity Jones talked about their passion for the script as well as for the source material. The young Jones was challenged by the “meat” she found in the role.
At the same time, though, the film waded into soap opera territory: straining to find a dark side to Dickens that scholars know existed, without balancing his lesser qualities with his great talent.