The other day I did a podcast with Emily Whitten of Redeemed Reader and Rea Berg of Beautiful Feet Books. I was there representing Youth Reads, a Web page that I run as part of my day job. But I mention it here because, in the course of our conversation about what constitutes a virtuous love story, Dickens came up quite a lot! At various points, you can hear us talk about Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, and Little Dorrit.
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!
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.
To help out with the fundraising, two of Dickens's great-great-grandsons, Gerald and Ian Dickens, are walking the 75 miles from London to Portsmouth. They're following the route taken by Nicholas Nickleby and Smike.
At The Millions, six Victorian scholars give their picks for best Dickens novel. I will long treasure this description of Our Mutual Friend, by Daniel Pollack-Pelzner of Linfield College: "The opening sequence plays like a Scorsese tracking shot on steroids. A body fished out of the Thames becomes gossip at a nouveau riche banquet, from which two lawyers slip out to a dockside police station, where they meet a mysterious man who runs off to take lodgings with a clerk, whose daughter becomes the ward of a dustman, who hires a peg-legged balladeer to read him The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And I haven’t even mentioned the taxidermist." He also calls the novel a "Facebook fantasy."
At BoingBoing.net, they're doing a series on Enthralling Books. Jay Kinney selected Nicholas Nickleby as the book that enthralled him.
I called it, I called it! Just a week and a half after I suggested watching for Dickens references on CBS's Person of Interest, they obligingly gave us one. Harold Finch rattled off the title, author, publication dates, and a one-sentence summary of Our Mutual Friend after having been drugged, a feat I'm not at all sure I could accomplish myself. Well played, sir!
BBC Daytime has commissioned an updated adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, to air in the fall. Instead of a boarding school, Nicholas (or "Nick") will work in a home for the elderly.
London is doing its first Cityread, and the book they've chosen is Oliver Twist. Read all about the event here!
As it happens, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is also featuring Oliver Twist in their One Book/One Community event. Danny Heitman of the Advocate has a nice piece about that here.
A group of teen artists in New York has put together a special exhibit inspired by the bicentennial, called "Sketching the City."
Speaking of raffles, don't forget to enter ours! We don't have anything quite that cool, but we do have a copy of the Great Expectations miniseries, and your money will go to help either sick kids or human trafficking victims -- your choice.
The Atlantic has an online book club called 1book140, and they're planning to read a Dickens book in March. You can go here to vote for which one they should read! The choices: Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, and Our Mutual Friend. As I write this, Bleak House has a sizable lead, with David Copperfield in second.