Apologies for the delay -- I've been a little behind with everything lately. But at long, LONG last, I have the totals for the Dickens Bicentennial Fundraiser.
First, let's thank everyone who donated or helped raise money via guest posts, participating in the readathon, and other ways: John, David, Nina, Selenia, Trynstje, Rachel, and Mo. Thanks also to those who donated to the readathon participants -- though I don't have all their names, we're sincerely grateful for their help!
In the end, we raised $294 for the Somaly Mam Foundation, $171 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and $20 for Books for America, for a grand total of $485. I like to think that Mr. Dickens would be pleased!
It won't be as big a deal as his 200th, of course, but the Brits have come up with a great way to celebrate Dickens's 200th birthday in February: The West End production of Great Expectations will be broadcast in theaters around the U.K. And some of the money raised will go to a new charity, The Dickens Legacy, which will be fundraising for issues that concerned Dickens. (I think that's the part of the celebration that would have pleased him most!) I haven't yet been able to find much online yet about the charity; anyone who has details, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
Ian Rons of Cobham, not far from Gad's Hill Place, has won a strand of Dickens's hair. The hair, which was raffled off to raise money to help preserve Dickens's Swiss chalet, will be displayed at the Leather Bottle pub, which appears in The Pickwick Papers.
I'm always sorry to say goodbye to an old year. But this year, I'm even sorrier than usual.
It's been a great year for Dickensians -- a year in which the world honored the author we love. From the memorial service at Westminster Abbey to the Dickens Fellowship conference in Portsmouth, to the birthday tributes right here on this blog; from readathons to statues to costume parties; from new movies and new biographies to birthday cards and teas, admirers of Charles Dickens found just about every conceivable way to celebrate his 200th birthday. And it has been wonderful fun!
As well, many of you helped raise money for charity in honor of Dickens's own tireless generosity and care for the needy. I'm still tallying up the results, and hope to have those for you in a few days. But it's looking like we raised a sum that would have made the Inimitable proud.
But just because the bicentennial year is ending, that doesn't mean we leave Dickens behind with it! The good news is, of course, that we take him with us into the new year, just as we have in every year before this. Matthew Davis, in an excellent article about he spent the year reading all of Dickens's novels (thanks to Wendy and Christy for the link), reminds us: "So as New Year approaches, reading Dickens in 2013 would not be a bad resolution to make."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
And so, as Scrooge said, "A happy New Year to all the world!" And may it be as happy a year for Dickensians as this year has been.
Time, that is, for me to share the latest picture of Gerald Dickens and me before his performance of A Christmas Carol. This is getting to be quite the tradition!
The performance was, as ever, magnificent. If Mr. Dickens is coming to a city near you, I can't recommend it highly enough. Also, this year he's raffling off his costume to help raise money for the new Dickens statue in Portsmouth, so you just might end up with a nice new outfit! (The actual raffle will take place in January, but tickets are currently being sold at every place he performs, for $5 apiece.)
Robyn Lupton, appearing in a Brisbane production of Oliver!, has a special connection to Charles Dickens: "Robyn says it's hard to imagine she'd be around if it wasn't for the
second chance that Dickens gave her great, great, grandmother." Read her story here.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Pennsylvania, they celebrated a little differently -- with gruel!
To raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital (one of the charities for which Dickensblog has raised money), GOSH Dickens Day will be held in London on November 25.
Finally, something I've been meaning to mention for a while: Herb Moskovitz of the Dickens Fellowship, whom I met at the August conference, publishes a free weekly e-newsletter called The Buzfuz, full of Dickensian items of interest. To subscribe, contact Herb at TheBuzfuz@aol.com.