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Dickens Day

Saturday 25th February 2012 10am - 5pm 107 Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Chargeable Event



To mark the bicentenary of Dickens' birth, Vintage Classics and Ebury Publishing have joined forces to host a Dickens Day at Foyles.
A host of celebrated writers, including acclaimed authors and historians Deborah Moggach, David Kynaston, Sarah Wise and Alex Werner, screenwriter Sarah Phelps (who wrote the recent BBC adaptation of Great Expectations) and one of our best known children's authors Michael Rosen, discuss their love of Dickens' writing, London in the 19th century and the power that Dickens continues to hold today.
The day will also include a 'I Never Knew That About Dickens Quiz', hosted by Christopher Winn, author of the popular 'I Never Knew That About...' series. The audience will have the opportunity to win a selection of the books discussed on the day, including sixteen of Dickens' works.
Ticket holders will also receive a goody bag including a free Vintage Classics book.

9.30 am - 10.20 am
Complementary coffee and croissants available in the Café at Foyles, First Floor to all ticket holders


Dickens explored the great social questions of the 19th century in his work and we can find many parallels with the current crisis in his novels, which quietly work to restore a link between money and morality David Kynaston, David Kynaston acclaimed social historian and author of City of London: The History tells the story of the city's 19th century ascent to its position as the world's leading international financial centre, including the characters behind these developments, such as the mercurial Nathan Rothschild and the dour Joshua Bates, who consolidated the power of Barings, which was at the centre of one of the world's most famous financial crises in 1890. David will be talking to William Keegan, Senior Economics Commentator at the Observer.



There have been more than 400 film and TV adaptations of Dickens' works so far, and counting, some brilliant, Deborah Moggach Douglas-Fairhurstsome less so! Sarah Phelps (screenwriter for BBC adaptations of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, as well as writing over 50 episodes of East Enders), Deborah Moggach (BAFTA-nominated screenplay writer of Pride and Prejudice and author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel now a major motion picture, starring Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) and Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (author of the new biography Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist) discuss what it takes to transfer our best loved novels to the big or small screen with Laura Hassan, Vintage Classics Editorial Director.

12.45pm-1.45pm - Signing and Lunch Break


Christopher Winn (author of the bestselling I Never Knew That About... series) will test our knowledge with an 'I Never Knew That About Dickens Quiz'. Christopher has been researching little known facts and interesting trivia on the author and his books to stump even the most avid Dickens fan. The quiz will take part in two rounds and at the end of the day there will be prizes awarded to the Dickens Quiz Champions.


Sarah WiseNineteenth-century London was a city of bustling crowds and dirty streets, shrouded in a thick Alex Wernerlayer of fog and smoke. Yet it was against this backdrop that Dickens chose to set his novels and from which he drew his inspiration. Indeed, at times London took on a role of its own, dominating the narrative like a character in its own right. Alex Werner (curator and Head of History Collections at the Museum of London and author of Dickens' Victorian London, Jack the Ripper and the East End and Dockland Life: A Pictorial History of London's Docks) and Sarah Wise (acclaimed historian and author of The Blackest Streets: The Life and Death of the Victorian Slum and The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s London) bring Victorian London to life from landmarks including the Houses of Parliament to London's most notorious slums. Chaired by Nicholas Clee, award-winning author of Eclipse and co-editor and founder of Bookbrunch.


Our Quiz Master Christopher Winn returns and continues to test our knowledge


Michael Rosen is one of the best-loved figures in the children's book world and is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As a boy, Michael used to sit spellbound on holiday while his father read from Dickens and brought Pip, Miss Havisham and Magwitch vividly to life. Michael will read from Great Expectations and discuss how 50 years after his first encounter with the novel, the tale still resonates as it merges with his own family's journey out of poverty in London's East End.

Venue: The Gallery at Foyles, Charing Cross Road.
Tickets: £10, concessions £8.
Please note that no physical tickets will be issued. Please print out and bring along the order confirmation you receive after you have paid for the tickets by adding them to your basket and going through the checkout process.


Read more about Charles Dickens and see a full list of his books in print.

Picture Credits: David Kynaston (c) Lucy Kynaston; Deborah Moggach (c) Carolyn Djanogly, Alex Werner (c) Museum of London

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