Royal Holloway celebrates Charles Dickens’ Bicentenary

Royal Holloway will be hosting a series of free events throughout March and April to celebrate 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens. The writer was born on 7th February 1812 in Portsmouth and remains one of the most famous voices of the Victorian era. Dickens’ writing is seen to transcend time and place with the strength of its social and moral commentary. His works have been translated into practically every language, and are interpreted in numerous films, television adaptations, pieces of art, and other bodies of writing. Throughout 2012 events are taking place across the world to mark the bicentenary of the writer’s birth.

At Royal Holloway there are four participatory events taking place that are open to students, lecturers, and members of the public. The first is an afternoon tea and discussion of Oliver Twist on 5th March, held in the Picture Gallery of the beautiful Founder’s building. There will be an exhibition of early examples of Dickens’ books and letters on display, as well as academic talks and the opportunity to discuss the novel in small reading groups. On 21st March there will be a workshop led by students of the university to illuminate their own interpretations and inspirations taken from Dickens. On 28th March Adam Roberts, author of I am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas, will lead a workshop examining the adaptation of Dickens’ novels into genre fiction. The final event, on 4th April, welcomes novelist Lynn Shepherd to discuss the processes and experiences of writing and publishing her novel Tom-All-Alone’s, which is based on Dickens’ Bleak House. Each event promises to be accessible, inspiring and informative for students of literature, historians, and aspiring writers, as well as anyone with a more general interest.

For information regarding times, tickets and organisers visit the Royal Holloway library website:

The events are held in conjunction with City Read 2012; ‘the World’s Biggest Book Club’ that aims to get more Londoners into libraries and reading the important novels of our literary canon through interactive events:

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