Earlier this month, the 200th anniversary of the birth of
In attendance were many writers, academics, and other enthusiasts of the man considered to be England's greatest novelist. Nearly 200 of the author's descendants were also present.
On this side of the Atlantic, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York is presenting "Dickens at 200," an exhibition of the largest collection of Dickens manuscripts and letters in the United States. Festivities were also held in cities such as
At a recent antiquarian book festival in Pasadena, a rare first edition of "David Copperfield" was one of the star attractions. Even
Around the globe, the
Fans of Dickens will want to take note of the following newly-released titles, which were timed to coincide with the bicentennial of his birthday. All are available to cardholders of the Newport Beach Public Library:
Claire Tomalin, in "Charles Dickens: A Life," has given us what might become his quintessential biography. Tomalin praises him for his success as a writer and for his efforts in the area of social reform, but she does not gloss over his personal failings, particularly in regard to his relationships with friends and family. The resulting portrait is of an extraordinarily complicated man whose virtues and vices were inseparable from his art.
In "Becoming Dickens,"
Edited by British scholar Jenny Hartley, the "Selected Letters of Charles Dickens" includes more than 450 examples of the author's correspondence, most of which were written at the height of his professional life. Among the famous recipients are
"Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius" by Sylvia Nasar, author of "A Beautiful Mind," is an intellectual history of modern economic thought. In a lengthy prologue, Nasar credits the novels of Charles Dickens for drawing attention to the plight of the poor in Victorian England. She argues that his work led to a gradual shift in thinking about economics not as moral philosophy but instead as an applied science, which could be a means toward increased prosperity for all.