An article in Centennial Parklands traces the long and fascinating history of the Dickens statue in Sydney, Australia (at one point it lost its head!), and talks about the annual birthday celebrations held there. There are lots of nice photos.
The Telegraph celebrated Dickens's birthday yesterday with a gallery of pictures of some of his best characters. Though the captions are oddly full of typos and mistakes, at least the pictures are great!
"He was born on a Friday, on the same day as his young hero David Copperfield, and for ever afterwards Friday became for him a day of omen. Whether like his young hero he was born just before midnight, when the tide was in, is not recorded; but this strange association between himself and his fictional characters is one that he carried with him always. He said once, during a speech in memory of Shakespeare's birthday, that: 'We meet on this day to celebrate the birthday of a vast army of living men and women who will live for ever with an actuality greater than that of the men and women whose external forms we see around us . . .' He was thinking here of Hamlet and Lear, of Macbeth and Prospero, but is it not also true that in this small front bedroom in Portsmouth, in the presence of a surgeon and a monthly nurse, there was born on this February day Pecksniff and Scrooge, Oliver Twist and Sairey Gamp, Samuel Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby, Pip and David Copperfield, Miss Havisham and Little Nell, the Artful Dodger and Wackford Squeers, Thomas Gradgrind and Little Dorrit, Sydney Carton and Paul Dombey, Fagin and Edwin Drood, Uriah Heep and Wilkins Micawber, Quilp and Sam Weller, Barnaby Rudge and Bill Sikes, Tiny Tim and Tommy Traddles, all of them tumbling out into the light?"
In honor of Dickens's 203rd birthday coming up on Saturday, The Herald Scotland lists 10 books worth reading by his fellow Victorian authors. I don't quite get the logic -- wouldn't it make more sense to read Dickens on Dickens's birthday? -- but it's a good list, anyway, so here it is!
And here's a question for you all: Which Dickens novel do you think would be a good one to revisit in honor of his birthday, and why?
TCM will air the 1935 Tale of Two Cities tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, as part of their "31 Days of Oscar" event. (The film was nominated for a Best Editing Oscar.) I'll be on Twitter tonight chatting about the film with other classic movie fans, using the #TCMParty hashtag. Those of you who are on Twitter are welcome to join in!