The Dickens Fellowship, founded in 1902, is a worldwide association of people who share an interest in the life and works of Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870). For more information about our organisation visit the organisation page.

The DF can be contacted at: postbox@dickensfellowship.org.  Please address any queries or comments about this website or the Dickens Fellowship generally to this address.

Please direct any queries about Dickens's life, works, later reputation and interpretation – and also any enquiries concerning the Fellowship’s history to: WTo1@aol.com.

For the latest news and comment, please refer to Household Words at the lower left of this page. Use the Search Box in the upper right to enter a word or phrase to search the entire site.

Message from the President

Subscribe to The Dickensian and enjoy free access online to all issues from 1905 onwards.


The Dickensian's back issues, from 1905 onwards, are available electronically, and word-searchable, through ProQuest publishers. Individual subscribers to The Dickensian are given complimentary access to these online resources, for personal use only, by application to Geoff Dicks geoffrey.dicks@btinternet.com

New President of the Dickens Fellowship Elected

At the AGM of the Fellowship at Bristol on Saturday 25th July, Dr Tony Williams was elected President in succession to Professor Jenny Hartley. Many thanks are extended to Jenny for her sterling service as President over the past two years.

Dr Williams is well known to members as a former Joint Honorary General Secretary and regular lecturer on Dickens and his works.  Tony is currently Associate Editor of The Dickensian and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Humanities at the University of Buckingham.  Tony’s book – The Representation of London in Regency and Victorian Drama - was published in 2000. A lecture Tony gave at Gresham College on the subject of Crime in Dickens’s London can be accessed via the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYf5xtoVZew
 

Dickens Day: Dickens, Readers and Reading

Saturday 10th October 2015

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, London

Reading is a powerful thing in Dickens’s novels. David Copperfield says of his childhood that ‘reading was my only and my constant comfort’. He goes on, ‘when I think of it the picture always rises in my mind, of a summer evening, the boys at play in the churchyard, and I sitting on my bed, reading as if for life’. If the lonely and unhappy David finds reading life-saving, Oliver Twist experiences its deathly associations. He is so disturbed by reading the Newgate Calendar that its pages seem to turn red with gore and he hears its words sounding in his ears.

Dickens in you garden?

The Rochester and Chatham Branch of the Fellowship spotted this massive concrete bust of Dickens for sale in a shop in their area. An Ideal gift perhaps for the Dickensian (with a garden) who has everything. Similar busts of Shakespeare and Darwin are also available.  Thanks to the Branch for providing the image.

Phiz at 200

Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz) was Dickens’s main illustrator from Pickwick in 1836 until he was replaced by Marcus Stone for Our Mutual Friend in 1863. He was born on 10 July 1815 as is shown by the order of his burial service in Brighton in 1882. The DF is grateful to  Margaret MacKenzie, who is descended from Phiz’s second child, Charles, for permission to reproduce it.

The Charles Dickens Primary Award 2016 Launched

The Dickens Fellowship are again delighted to sponsor the Charles Dickens Primary Award in association with the English Association.

The award is open to regular classes and after school clubs at Foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in primary schools in the UK.

For further information please see the attached link.

http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/english-association/prizes/primary-dickens

Restoration of Mary Hogarth's Grave Celebrated

Mary Hogarth Grave

On Saturday 13 June members of the Dickens Fellowship and Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery gathered at the site of Mary Hogarth’s grave to celebrate the Fellowship’s restoration of her monument. 
 
Current President of the Fellowship Professor Jenny Hartley and immediate past President Mark Dickens are pictured with the restored headstone, which bears the epitaph composed by Dickens for his sister-in-law.  The other picture is of the monument prior to work commencing. Both pictures courtesy of Signe Hoffos. Many thanks are extended to all involved in achieving this restoration after one hundred and sixty eight years. 
Mary Hogarth Grave

The inscription recording the restoration of the monument by the Dickens Fellowship courtesy of Signe Hoffos

Dickens desk and chair purchased by The Charles Dickens Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street has announced the purchase of the desk and chair that was owned and used by Dickens during his time living in Gad’s Hill Place.  They are those featured in the famous painting by Luke Fildes of ‘The Empty Chair’ (below).

The purchase was facilitated by the National Heritage Memorial Fund who donated £784,000 towards the acquisition and conservation costs. Further contributions came from the Robert Gavron Charitable Trust and the Dickens Fellowship, which was pleased to donate £10,000 to enable the purchase to be completed. A press release by the NHMF is attached.

The donation by the Dickens Fellowship is in accordance with one of the principal aims of the Fellowship: “to assist in the preservation and purchase of buildings and objects associated with (Dickens’s) name or mentioned in his works.’ No objects can be more iconic for any writer than the desk at which they worked or the chair on which they sat to do so.
 
Charles Dickens Chair and Desk

Dickens Secondary Schools Prize Launched

The Dickens Fellowship, in  association with the English Association, will again sponsor the Secondary Schools Dickens Competition. Dickens’s journalism will be the focus in 2015. The competition is open to all UK students between 14 and 16, and to students abroad taking GCSE or IGCSE examinations. For further information see the attached guidance note.

This Web Site is dedicated to the late Martha Rosso  (1922 - 2003)

A member of the Philadelphia Branch for over 35 years, Martha Rosso (née Pamplin) was one of the Fellowship's most dynamic and best loved figures. She contributed unstintingly to its business right to the very end of her life. Click here to read more about Martha Rosso.