An 1837 letter from Dickens to John Forster, presenting him with an "extra super bound" copy of The Pickwick Papers, will be auctioned off on Friday. The Daily Mail has the details and a very good photo of the letter.
A limited number of maquettes (small-scale models) of the Portsmouth Dickens statue are now available from sculptor Martin Jennings. Toronto resident and Dickens lover Dan Calinescu sent some photos of his new maquette to the Buzfuz e-mail newsletter. Dan and Buzfuz editor Herb Moskovitz gave me permission to share the photos here.
These maquettes are available via Martin Jennings's website. I've heard that they're fairly expensive -- and according to Dan, they're very heavy! But if you're interested, you can contact Mr. Jennings here.
Do you have what it takes to be a dandy? The Dickens Museum holds a "Sunday Best" event on the first Sunday of each month, offering free admission to those who come "dressed to impress." But you have to meet their exacting standards -- AND you have to speak the right words (from Martin Chuzzlewit). Go here to find out how to pass muster!
The much-anticipated new London stage production of Great Expectations opened last night. The Londonist has a review of this "Tim Burton-esque take." And Glamour has a brief report that focuses on the costume design. They have a nice photo of Grace Rowe as Estella.
Speaking of Great Expectations, Dickensblog reader Charity sends a link to a whole bunch of new still photos from the long-delayed-in-America feature film, and adds that it's driving her nuts that there's still no U.S. release date. I know the feeling.
The Washington Post offers a tongue-in-cheek look at what Dickens's characters would be up to today. My favorites were the predictions for Oliver Twist and Miss Havisham!
A replica of a sign that young Charles Dickens used to see on his way home from the blacking factory -- the Dog and Pot sign -- has been unveiled by Mark Dickens, his great-great-grandson. You can read all about it, and listen to Mark's speech, here.
The Week has a list of 11 words and phrases coined (or at least popularized) by Dickens.
This appears to be a few years old, but it's too good not to share: "NFL Players Whose Names Sound Vaguely Dickensian, and the Characters They Would Be in an Actual Dickens Novel (2007-2008 Regular Season Edition)." I agree that Ethan Albright, Darnell Dinkins, Luke Petitgout, Channing Crowder, Rex Hadnot, James Dearth, Chris Snee, Otis Grigsby, Alge Crumpler, Jeremy Trueblood, Jamaal Fudge, Derrick Dockery, and Darnell Dockett sound vaguely Dickensian. Not so sure about Marcus Maxwell, Will Witherspoon, Langston Walker, and Ellis Hobbs.