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.
As its title suggests, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley's newest book about her great-great-great-grandfather,Charles Dickens and His Circle, focuses less on the man himself than on the people around him. One might call it a biography of relationships, rather than a biography of a person. It's an interesting and helpful approach, broadening the usual picture we get of Dickens by giving a vivid portrait of his world and the people in it instead of simply retelling the major events of his life. Hawksley's preface suggests that writing her biography of Dickens's daughter Katey several years ago helped draw her attention to the different facets of her ancestor's personality and how they were brought out by his relationships: "Researching Dickens as a father -- and he was an indulgent and loving father, compared to most Victorian images of the paterfamilias -- was vastly different from studying Dickens the writer." Understanding this made Hawksley a perfect candidate to contribute a volume on Dickens to the National Portrait Gallery Companions series, all of which take a similar approach to their famous subjects (a complete list is available here).
Billionaire.com profiles Charles Dickens's great-great-granddaughter Lucy Dickens, an artist inspired by scenes in and around the Ritz London. Go here to read the piece, to see some of her paintings, and to get details about her upcoming exhibition at the Osborne Studio Gallery!
The town of Malton is honoring its connections with Dickens by holding its inaugural Dickensian Festival this winter! Go here and here for more information about the festival, which will include appearances by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and Miriam Margolyes. And go here to read about the special song composed just for the occasion!
Before performing his one-man Great Expectations at Guildford Book Festival, Gerald Dickens talked with Get Surrey about his favorite Dickens novel, the appeal of doing one-man shows, whether he'd like to write a novel himself, and more!