Holly Furneaux, Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University, was literary advisor to the BBCs 20 part series Dickensian. In the attached article she considers what Dickens and his contemporaries would have made of it.
There will again be opportunities to visit Gad’s Hill Place on selected Saturday afternoons in 2016. For further details of dates and costs please access the link below. The majority of the guides will be members of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship.
The annual conference of the Dickens Fellowship will be held in Aberdeen from Wednesday 20 – Monday 25 July. Amongst the attraction will be a rare opportunity to see first editions of all Dickens’s novels which will be on display in the University Library. Please see the attached article from the Aberdeen Press and Journal about the Dickens exhibition being prepared for this spring and summer, which will be on display before, after and during this summer’s Fellowship conference.
The President of the Dickens Fellowship, Dr Tony Williams, was interviewed recently via Skype by Dan Schneider about Dickens’s life and work. Other guests included Professor Jay Clayton and Professor Natalie McNight. Listen to the interview via the link below.
David Chandler is very interested in the musical theatre versions of Dickens’s stories. Late in 2014 he helped set up a charitable organisation to make recordings of important British operas from the past: http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/ . One of the aims is to make a recording of the delightful Solomon / Burnand “Pickwick” of 1889. There may even be a live performance or 2 in London too. About £10,000 to make it happen. There is a supporters’ scheme with various categories for those who would like to help:
The Aberdeen Branch of the Dickens Fellowship – like many other branches – celebrated the festive season with a reading of Dickens’s classic Christmas story A Christmas Carol. The report is attached below.
The Pickwick Bicycle Club was formed in 1870 – the year of Dickens’s death. It is the oldest Dickensian club in existence and is one of the Pickwickian societies affiliated to the Dickens Fellowship. In June 2014 a plaques was unveiled on the former Downs Hotel in Hackney, east London where the Club was formed. The article below from the Hackney Citizen records the event.
An article about the Monterey Peninsular (California) Branch appeared in a recent edition of the Monterey Herald. Congratulations to Beth Penney and the members of the Branch for attracting such good publicity for the Fellowship. The article can be accessed via the link below,
The Dickens Fellowship are very sorry to learn of the death of Donald Hawes. Donald died peacefully in hospital on Saturday 14 November having been diagnosed recently with advanced cancer both of the liver and the pancreas and had been unable to eat or drink very much at all for some time. Dickensians will remember him from his regular radio and television reviews in our journal, as well as from his other contributions to scholarship in books like Who's Who in Dickens (2001), Charles Dickens (2007) and his highly-respected edition of Barnaby Rudge in the Everyman Dickens series (1996).
Throughout December the town of Malton in North Yorkshire will be celebrating Charles Dickens with Victorian street theatre, music, food, dance, horse and carriage rides, celebrity performances and talks. Miriam Margolyes is headlining and other participants include Michael Slater and Lucinda Hawksley.
Dr Jeremy Parrott has revealed that he bought from a second-hand bookshop in Wrexham a twenty volume de-luxe set of Dickens’s journal All the Year Round. On examining the set he found that it was annotated in Dickens’s own hand to reveal the authors of many previously anonymous pieces. Contributions by Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Lewis Carroll are amongst those now identified.
The Tower Theatre Company, billed as 'the most active amateur theatre company in London' is presenting a production of Simon Gray's 2007 play about the relationship between Charles Dickens and Ellen Ternan. Performances are at the Teatro Technis in Camden from 9th to 13th June. Further information, including booking details and location map, is available at http://www.towertheatre.org.uk/little_nell.htm