The Dickens Fellowship of New York
|Bicentennial Exhibit and Lecture Series at|
|The New York Public Library|
Charles Dickens: The Key to Character
Fifth Avenue &
When recreational reading was at a zenith, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the best-loved author writing in English. His characters leapt off the page in a way that prompted countless illustrators to imagine each anew. After mass literacy declined, Dickens’s works inspired more film adaptations than those of Shakespeare. The ability of Dickens’s language to be visualized has rescued his novels for our own time, and Charles Dickens: The Key to Character celebrates the power of his fictional creations to be seen and heard. Located in the library’s Wachenheim Gallery, the exhibition displays original artworks and letters, photographs and artifacts, seeking to unlock connections between Dickens’s personal life and his literary figures and to explore Dickens’s self-transformation into a cultural icon. The exhibition is accompanied by a free lecture series in the South Court Auditorium adjoining the gallery.
Free Lecture Series
Wednesday, October 3 at
“Dickens’s Prompt Texts”
Isaac Gewirtz, Curator
Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature
From his novels Dickens created unique prompt texts with which he performed on stage to great acclaim, and which now belong to the Berg Collection.
Wednesday, October 10 at
The growth of
Friday, October 12 at
(also Friday, December 14 at )
“Out of the Blacking Factory”
Humanities Bibliographer, General Research Division
This presentation examines various aspects of Dickens’s life, the broad range of his fiction, and its various illustrators.
Wednesday, October 17 at
“A Tale of Two Cities: Love, Sex, Imprisonment”
This talk considers Dickens’s fascination with prisons—and with mistress Ellen Ternan—as backgrounds for A Tale of Two Cities.
Tuesday, October 23 at
(also Thursday, November 29 at ;
“Dickens and the Language of Images”
Dickens’s emblematic character descriptions are explored in a slideshow presentation by the exhibition curator.
Tuesday, November 6 at
“The Worst Dickens Ever: Our Mutual Friend”
This presentation explains why Henry James—and those who have hated Our Mutual Friend since—have it all wrong.
Wednesday, November 14 at
“The Twists of Oliver Twist”
The plot contortions of this famous novel are discussed in relation to three culturally symbolic sites.
Wednesday, November 28 at
“David Copperfield and Dickensian Character”
This talk playfully catalogs Dickens's many distinct styles of characterization in his most autobiographical novel.
Wednesday, December 5 at
“Theater and the Politics of Style in Great Expectations”
This talk considers the relations among Dickens’s singular style, his interest in popular performance, and his democratic imagination.
Wednesday, December 12 at
“Dickens, Scrooge and Autobiography”
A Christmas Carol is discussed as a cautionary tale showing the kind of person that Dickens—haunted by childhood misery—might have become.
Tuesday, December 18 at
Dickens and the Criminal Mind
Kristin Le Veness
Dickens’s most notorious villains are discussed in relation to his dedication to realism and social reform.
|The Dickens Fellowship of
New York and its members seek to keep the memory and study of Charles
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