Highlights of the fifteenth part of the ‘Our Mutual Friend Tweets’ project can now be found on Storify! Click here to catch up on the latest developments.
And don’t forget to bookmark ‘Our Mutual Feed‘ to keep up with the story day-to-day.
As we come to the end of our blogging and tweeting adventure, we will be hosting a gathering after this year’s Dickens Day on Saturday 10th October at Senate House, London, at which our anonymous tweeters will be revealed! So please come and join us to celebrate the culmination of the project.
If you would like to come to the gathering but don’t want to attend Dickens Day, please contact us with your details.
Reading is a powerful thing in Dickens’s novels. David Copperfield says of his childhood that ‘reading was my only and my constant comfort’. He goes on, ‘when I think of it the picture always rises in my mind, of a summer evening, the boys at play in the churchyard, and I sitting on my bed, reading as if for life’. If the lonely and unhappy David finds reading life-saving, Oliver Twist experiences its deathly associations. He is so disturbed by reading the Newgate Calendar that its pages seem to turn red with gore and he hears its words sounding in his ears.
Contemporaries of Dickens were also keenly aware of the power of literature and they worried about Dickens’s own influence over his vast numbers of readers, particularly the ‘impressionable’ ones – women, younger readers and the lower classes. Despite such concerns, Dickens’s popularity remained undimmed throughout his life and in his last years he reached a new audience with his public readings of his own works. Reading Dickens had a profound effect on many other writers too and we will seek to explore the echoes, referencing and rewriting of Dickens – both celebratory and critical – in later works.
Jointly run by Birkbeck, the University of Leicester and the Dickens Fellowship, this one-day conference will explore Dickens’s reading, his readers and reading in his work. You can book your place now.
The Brighton Open Air Theatre is putting on a two-part production of Our Mutual Friend from 19th-31st August.
Directed by Martin Nichols, adapted by Franklyn McCabe, and designed by Victoria Johnstone, the show is a revival of a much-loved production that took place in Brighton in the late 1990s. Given a two-part treatment by Brighton’s own Two Bins company, it features 18 actors playing around 40 roles.