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

2015 Dickens Fellowship Annual Conference

The 2015 Annual Conference of the Dickens Fellowship will be hosted by the Bristol and Clifton Dickens Society at Wills Hall (pictured) in Stoke Bishop, Bristol, between Thursday 23rd and Tuesday 28th July.  The programme and booking form are now available on the Branch website. The organisers request that a deposit on behalf of all those intending to attend be paid by mid February.

 

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

Coram Historic Lunchtime Walks

We would like to invite you to our series of Coram historic lunchtime walks.

Due to popular demand, the walks, led by Coram’s Social History Editor, are becoming a regular, monthly event, usually on the last Friday in the month.

The walks are held at lunchtime and last approximately 45 minutes. Beginning at the Thomas Coram statue outside Coram headquarters in Brunswick Square, they take in the Foundling Hospital site and the places where, during our 275-year history, our governors, friends and supporters lived. Along the way we find out about Charles Dickens, our royal connections, the first London traffic by-pass, and how this part of Bloomsbury became the centre for child health and welfare.
We end with tea and free gingerbread in Coram’s headquarters. Coram is the charity that continues the work of the Foundling Hospital today. We help a million children every year to develop their skills and emotional health, find adoptive families and uphold their rights.

We would love it if you could join us on this – or a future  walk. They are absolutely free.

We’d be absolutely delighted if you are able to attend. Please do let us know if you think you can make it by registering for a free ticket using the Eventbrite link on a date which suits you.

www.coram.org.uk/aprilwalk

www.coram.org.uk/maywalk

www.coram.org.uk/junewalk

Dickens and Beadnell reunited in Doughty Street

The Charles Dickens Museum are currently staging a small exhibition entitled: 'Dickens's First Love'. It focuses on the true story of the young Dickens and his first love Maria Beadnell (later immortalised as Dora Spenlow in ‘David Copperfield’ and Flora Finching in ‘Little Dorrit’). The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see Dickens's very first literary efforts: love poems about Maria and comic verse composed for her sister Anne.

A Dickens-Beadnell union was never to be, but four generations later Mark Dickens, great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, formed a lifetime friendship with Nick Beadnell, a direct descendant of the Beadnell family.  Mark says “We were close friends and uncannily born on exactly the same day, but it was not until much later that we both realised the family connection.  I was honoured to be the best man at his wedding and thus reunite the two families once again.  I am delighted that this exhibition highlights an area of Dickens’s life that does not get discussed very often”.

 

 

Mark Dickens (left) and Nick Beadnell beside portraits of their famous relatives at the Charles Dickens Museum.

Dickens's Birthday Celebrated In Sydney

Dickens's Birthday Celebrated in SydneyDickens’s birthday on February 7th was celebrated by members of the Fellowship throughout the world. On a beautiful summer’s afternoon in Sydney, over forty members of the New South Wales Dickens Society gathered in the shade in front of the Dickens statue in Centennial Parklands to hear the President of the Society, Michelle Cavanagh. recall Dickens’s love of birthdays and the grand style in which he celebrated his own in particular.  

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.

Dickens Fellowship Primary School Awards

On 20 January, at the Charles Dickens Museum, pupils from St Anselm's Primary School, in Tooting south London, and Hadrian Academy, in Dunstable celebrated their schools' success in the Charles Dickens Primary Awards, sponsored by the Fellowship.  As part of their award, pupils were treated to a free tour of the museum and a workshop based on Catherine Dickens's cookery book - churning and flavouring butter - and enjoying the results! Nia McIntosh, the Museum's Education and Outreach Officer and three of the Museum's wonderful education volunteers, explained some of the most interesting aspects of Dickens's life while he lived at 48 Doughty Street. As a fitting end to the visit, Eve Bearne of the English Association gave out certificates and Paul Graham, Joint Honorary General Secretary of the Fellowship, awarded the prizes of cash and books.

(left) Some of the prize-winning pupils with Nia McIntosh, the Education Officer at the Charles Dickens Museum, during their tour of the Museum.  Photo courtesy of Eve Bearne of the English Association.

 

(right) Some of the pupils sample the butter they made in the Charles Dickens Museum.  Photo courtesy of Eve Bearne of the English Association.

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.