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Charles Dickens' 200th Anniversary

From Thursday, February 07, 2013
To Sunday, March 31, 2013

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens!

Charles Dickens items from Pequot Library's Special Collections will be on display in the Library's two display cases from Saturday, January 26 through Sunday, March 31.

Charles Dickens: Visual Clues to a Rich and Controversial Public and Private Life
a lecture by Dr. Susan Whitcomb

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7 pm
in the Main Reading Room and Perkin Gallery

Dickens_writing_edited_for_webCharles Dickens (February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870) is probably one of the best-known and best-loved Victorian authors. His writings exposed the difficult working conditions in Victorian England and inspired philanthropists to initiate the changes needed to create a better life for the impoverished. Books such as Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, Bleak House and The Adventures of David Copperfield  began as serials in newspapers and so were available to many more people than were his books. Dickens lectured on the harsh treatment of the working class and also gave readings from his books both in England and the United States. 

Dickens’ own hardships while growing up influenced his writing. After his father was sent to debtor’s prison in 1824, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse where he earned six shillings a week pasting labels on pots of boot blacking. This experience found its way into several of Dickens’ books helping expose the plight of working class England to a larger audience.

Pequot Library’s Charles Dickens Rare Print Collection (Seymour Eaton, editor. Philadelphia: R.G. CD_Rare_Prints_1900_edited_for_webKennedy and Sons. 1900.) contains facsimiles of some of the engravings used in Dickens’ books, as well as portraits and caricatures of Dickens, facsimiles of Dickens’ playbills, documents including his marriage license, and facsimiles of drawings of his various homes including his final home in the Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Dickens_with_all_his_characters_edited_for_webIn addition to the Rare Print Collection, Pequot Library owns several Dickens’ books dating to the 1870’s, some of which are on display.

The editor of the Charles Dickens Rare Print Collection, Seymour Eaton, created several series of prints for the works of Shakespeare and Robert Burns among others. He was also the creator of the “Roosevelt Bears”, later known as the “Teddy Bears”, about whom he wrote a number of books for children.

Pequot Library would like to thank Diana and John Herzog for loaning us some of their Dickens memorabilia: the photographs, autographed letter and envelope, signed check, admission ticket to the “Pickwick Papers”, a decorative plate, a bust of Dickens and a book “The Life and Times of Charles Dickens” by Allen S. Watts.


Location : Perkin Gallery and Reading Room