Charles Dickens’s London

Dickens 200th birthday celebrations

Image: Hatters!

If ever a writer was wedded to London – more than Shakespeare, Pepys, Johnson, Wilde and Defoe even – it has to be Charles Dickens. His bold and vivid prose, honed during his spell as a journalist, not only brought London to life for his contemporaries, but, most suggestively, for future generations too.

And while Dickens’s name is always evoked at this time of year, he’s going to be nigh-on impossible to escape over the coming months. Next year is the 200th anniversary of his birth and his adopted home city has already set the wheels in motion to celebrate…

Dickens and London @ The Museum of London, EC2Y
The first major UK Dickens exhibition in 40 years, Dickens and London will focus on the symbiotic relationship between the author and London – a city he deemed his ‘magic lantern’. In addition, the Museum of London has created an iPad and iPhone app, narrated by Mark Strong, entitled Dickens Dark London.

A Hankering After Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural @ The British Library, NW1
Like many of his age, Dickens was obsessed with the supernatural, both from a rational and scientific standpoint, but also as a means of ratcheting up the suspense in his novels. This exhibition examines this powerful storytelling device in wonderful fashion.

Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, WC1N
Housed in the building that Dickens lived in from 1837 to 1839, forthcoming events include A Christmas Carol Walk, Celebrate Christmas With Dickens and a special reading of A Christmas Carol.

Dickens On Screen @ BFI Southbank, SE1
Adapting Dickens for the big screen (and small) is a rites of passage for many directors. This timely retrospective brings together many of his film and TV works.

The BBC will also be screening Great Expectations this Christmas. Watch the trailer here.

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