According to The Buzfuz e-newsletter, our friend David Perdue is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his website, the invaluable Charles Dickens Page. Happy anniversary, David, and thanks for all you do for us Dickensians!
Kevin Quinn, of the Friends of Dickens New York, reports that the group will celebrate Dickens's birthday this Saturday, Feb. 11, at McGee's. All are welcome to join! The party will run from 12:30 to 4 p.m., and everyone is asked to contribute $40 to the cost of the food.
"From Dickens himself readers wanted more and he gave it, prodigiously. The huge sweep of his novels makes them as extensive as cities, as complex as labyrinths, and as comforting as fires to sit beside. Over the eight hundred pages and, for his first readers, the eighteen months of serial publication, a Dickens novel builds a parallel world to run alongside our own, an ample and welcoming family to be part of our daily lives."
The annual celebration of Dickens's birthday at Clark Park in Philadelphia will be held Sunday. The Buzfuz e-newsletter reports: "Philadelphia writer Edward G. Pettit and his family will present the 'cucumber' scene from Nicholas Nickleby. Christine Nelson, from the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, will read and discuss one of Dickens’ letters. Actors Larry Beck, Ceil Mann, and Ruthanne Ankney will present scenes from The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times, and The Cricket on the Hearth. Herb Moskovitz, Bob Sloan, and Kevin Quinn will read a passage from Oliver Twist. The indoor program concludes with tasty treats and a performance by the Kingsessing Morris Men, award winners in this year’s Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia. For a fun finale, we’ll go outdoors to sing 'Happy Birthday' at the Dickens statue. . . .
"Everyone is invited to attend—but please come early. The program begins at 2 p.m. sharp and concludes about an hour and a half later."
One hundred seventy-five years ago yesterday, Charles Dickens arrived in Boston on his first trip to America. In honor of the occasion, the Trademark & Copyright Law Blog has a post about Dickens's struggle with American publishers over international copyright law reform.
Cedric Dickens, a great-grandson of Charles, would have turned 100 on September 24, and he's getting a party! Cedric's daughter Jane Monk has completed the memoir her father left unfinished when he died in 2006. The book, My Life, will have its official U.S. launch October 22 (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) at the Union League in Philadelphia, sponsored by Frank Giordano of the Philadelphia Pickwick Club. RSVP to Rick Bravo at ribravo55 AT verizon DOT net (you know the drill) if you'd like to go! (H/T The Buzfuz.)
Great-great-great-grandson Ian Dickens recently became a volunteer with Beanstalk, a child literacy charity. In this interview, he talks about how his ancestor's legacy -- not just as a writer, but also as a performer -- helps him teach children to read.
Dickens died on this date 146 years ago. As Peter Ackryod writes in Dickens, "Charles Dickens died at the very height of the 'Victorian' age, and yet in his death one of its moving spirits had crept away. Part of its soul had gone."
On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, it's worthwhile for us Dickensians to recall and appreciate his immense influence on the novelist we love. As Paul Schlicke tells us, "For Dickens Shakespeare was 'the great master who knew everything,' whose plays were 'an unspeakable source of delight.' It has been well said that 'No one is better qualified to recognise literary genius than a literary genius,' and no other author has had so profound an effect on Dickens."
I got into a debate over Dickens on a message board (as you do) some time ago. One of my fellow posters who is not a fan challenged me to explain what I love about Dickens. I promised to do a full blog post on the subject, and then I got busy doing other things and never got around to it.
But today we Dickensians celebrate our beloved author's 204th birthday. So, it occurred to me, what better way to celebrate than to answer the question: Why do I love Dickens?
In honor of Dickens's birthday, the Chatham-Kent branch of the Dickens Fellowship will host a celebration featuring dramatic readings and a talk by historians Bryan and Shannon Prince. The Chatham DailyNews reports, "The organization has invited the Princes to present original work comparing the views of slavery and abolition of Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher-Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin." The event will be held February 19.