This is just to report that I'm back from the Dickens Fellowship Conference, where we had a grand and glorious five days of celebrating Mr. Dickens! Report and pictures (with help from Rachel McMillan) coming soon!
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 new Drood Inquiry group will hold a one-day conference in September, "allowing the opportunity to consider Edwin Drood afresh, not purely as a puzzle to be solved but as a work of literature to be analysed and celebrated in its own right." Cloisterham Tales has more information!
The 2014 Dickens Fellowship Conference will be held in Chicago, July 16-21. If you're interested in going, you need to get your $200 non-refundable deposit in by Saturday, February 15. Here's the page where you can find the forms to fill out (there's one for singles and one for couples), and here's some more information on the conference.
The 27th annual Dickens Day, co-sponsored by Birkbeck, University of London; the University of Leicester; and the Dickens Fellowship, will be held at London's Senate House on October 12. This one will focus primarily on Dickens's interest in history and how it impacted his work. Info is here and here.
As I write this, the 2013 Dickens Universe is finishing up out in California. If any of you were there, we'd love to hear how it went! (Hat tip to David Perdue.)
In London, the Charles Dickens Museum has been added to the London Pass, "a sightseeing card providing tourists with entry to over 60 of the city's top attractions."
Speaking of the Dickens Museum, I recently ordered from them this set of facsimiles of the serialized version of Edwin Drood. Since then it's gone out of stock again -- it seems to go out of stock rather quickly, from what I've seen -- but when they get more of them in, I highly recommend them. It's a lovely, well-done set, and it's an especially poignant experience to look at the last one, which features a nice picture of Dickens and a short posthumous tribute.
A conference called "Tales of One City: Charles Dickens and London" will be held October 6 at Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, in London. Go here for details.
Penguin is putting out a series ("inspired by typography") called Penguin Drop Caps, featuring new editions of classic novels, and Great Expectations is included. Details and photos are available here.
Simon Callow, currently performing his one-man show The Mystery of Charles Dickens in London, opines that Dickens would likely have been diagnosed as bipolar, were he alive today. As I've hinted before, I tend to think there may be something in that idea.
Speaking of Callow's show, the Evening Standard reviews it here.
Eugene Wrayburn makes Huffington Post's list of snarky literary characters to enjoy; blogger Dave Astor describes him as "nicer than he initially seems."
Selina Scott of Malton, England, is trying to raise £30,000 to help the town buy an inscribed first edition of A Christmas Carol. (You may recall that Scrooge's counting house is said to have been based on a building in Malton.) Best wishes to her!