Celebrate Charles Dickens' Bicentennial Birthday!

Posted Feb 6th, 2012 by Rhonda B. Sewell  Category: Community Interest


(Released February 2, 2012) – In observance of the Bicentennial Birthday of the late Charles Dickens (1812-2012), please join scholar Dr. Melissa Valiska Gregory for an informative talk which focuses on the enduring popularity of Dickens’ famous novels, while exploring his journalism and literary collaborations from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 20 in the McMaster Center at Main Library, 325 Michigan St.

Dr. Gregory, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor as well as the Honors Advisor for the University of Toledo’s English Language and Literature Department. She specializes in 19th century British literature and has published articles on both Victorian poetry and the novel. Dr. Gregory has edited and introduced three of Charles Dickens’ collaboratively written Christmas stories for Hesperus Press—The Wreck of the Golden Mary (2006), Somebody’s Luggage (2006), and Dr. Marigold’s Prescriptions (2007)—and has also coauthored an original brief biography of Dickens (2008).

Also, enjoy a special exhibit in Main Library’s Humanities department titled 200 Years of Dickens: Author of Social Reform. This display, on view now through March 31, focuses on “Dickens’ London” and the author’s history as a reformer and social activist.

This program is FREE and open to the public. Be sure to check out materials on Dickens at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Who was Charles Dickens?

Charles Dickens was born in 1812, the son of a clerk at the Navy Pay Office. His father, John Dickens continually living beyond his means, was imprisoned for debt in 1824. Twelve-year-old Dickens was removed from school and sent to work at a boot-blacking factory earning six shillings a week to help support the family.

This dark experience cast a shadow over the clever, sensitive boy that became a defining experience in his life, he would later write that he wondered “how I could have been so easily cast away at such an age.”
This childhood poverty and feelings of abandonment, although unknown to his readers until after his death, would be a heavy influence on Dickens’ later views on social reform and the world he would create through his fiction.
Dickens would go on to write 15 major novels and countless short stories and articles before his death in 1870. He wished to be buried, without fanfare, in a small cemetery in Rochester, but the nation would not allow it. He was laid to rest in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey with the flowers from thousands of mourners overflowing the open grave. Among the more beautiful bouquets were many simple clusters of wildflowers, wrapped in rags. –From David Perdue’s Charles Dickens Page –www.charlesdickenspage.com –

NOTE: For additional information visit toledolibrary.org, or call 419.259.5200

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Rhonda B. Sewell - Toledo Library | Toledo, OH

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