Here's a nice story about the Monterey Peninsula branch of the Dickens Fellowship, and a dinner they held recently. As branch co-founder Beth Penney says, the Fellowship is a great place to "talk to people about Dickens more than once a year"!
Joanna Robinson, director of a recent London production of Dickens's play Is She His Wife?,has put a video of the show on YouTube. I haven't had the chance to watch it yet, but I did see a production of the play at the Chicago Dickens Fellowship conference a few years ago and can say that it's a fun one!
Because it's National Handwriting Day, I thought I'd share a couple of samples of Dickens's handwriting here! First up: the beginning of Great Expectations, demonstrating that even the greatest of the greats had frequent scratchouts and rewritings.
And here's a picture of Dickens's signature with its famous flourish. At the Dickens Fellowship Conference last summer, we had a whole session on that flourish, its meanings, and how it changed over the years.
The first Bi-Annual Dickens Conference will be held in Salem, Massachusetts, this Friday through Sunday, hosted by the North Boston branch of the Dickens Fellowship. "Pickwickian Endeavors" is the name of this year's conference. Information is here and here.
Congratulations to Kenia Coyoy and Karen Molina, high school students from Los Angeles who won trips to Dickens Universe with their essays on Our Mutual Friend! They're the first students from their school district to win the essay contest, and this fall, each will be the first member of their respective families to go to college. Says Karen, "I hope people see that Hispanic children from South L.A. can not only read Dickens but relate to it and become one with the literature."
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.