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Charles Dickens items from Pequot Library's Special Collections will be on display in the Library's two rare book display cases from January 26 through March 31, 2013.
Dr. Susan Whitcomb gave a presentation, “Charles Dickens: Visual Clues to a Rich and Controversial Public and Private Life,” on February 27, 2013. These slides are from her program.
Charles 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.
Pequot Library’s Charles Dickens Rare Print Collection (Seymour Eaton, editor. Philadelphia: R.G.Kennedy 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.
In addition to the Rare Print Collection, Pequot Library owns several Dickens’ books dating to the 1870’s, some of which are on display.
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.