Details of NSWDS 2017 Events

NSW Dickens Society 2017 Book of the Year: Oliver Twist (1837)

2017 Events

Tuesday February 7:
Charles Dickens’ Birthday Celebrations; come and enjoy a drink and piece of cake to celebrate Charles Dickens’ 205th birthday around his statue.
2.30pm: Corner of Dickens Drive and Loch Avenue, Centennial Parklands, Sydney.
Free, but please RVSP by 1/07/17 for catering purposes; nswdickens@gmail.com

Saturday February 11:
NSW Dickens Society AGM + A talk by Dr. Rachel Franks; ‘Steadily engaged in the service of the public’

(Charles Dickens, 1850. ‘A Detective Police Party,’ a quote from Household Words)
Early efforts to laud the detective included articles written by Charles Dickens; pieces on policing that reflected the great Victorian novelist’s commitment to reveal, through written commentaries, a range of important social issues. This talk will explore some of the articles that – appearing in Household Words – changed the perception of policing at a crucial time and how Dickens directly contributed to significant shift in how we consume true crime stories.
Dr. Rachel Franks is the Coordinator, Education & Scholarship, at the State Library of New South Wales, a Conjoint Fellow at the University of Newcastle, Australia and is at The University of Sydney researching true crime. Rachel holds a PhD in Australian crime fiction and her research in the fields of crime fiction, true crime, food studies and information science has been presented at numerous conferences. An award-winning writer, her work can be found in a wide variety of books, journals and magazines.
10am for 10.30am start at Sydney Room, City Tattersalls Club, 194 – 204 Pitt Street (near Market Street), Sydney. No bookings required. $5 entry fee for NSW Dickens Society members. $10 for non-members.

Friday March 10 – Sunday March 12:
NSW Dickens Society Country Weekend; ‘Dickens on Holidays’ at the Mercure Gerringong Resort, 1 Fern Street, Gerringong, NSW

Gerringong, NSW (2 hours south of Sydney).
A weekend away to celebrate all things Dickens including talks by Susannah Fullerton who will be speaking about Dickens in Italy, Alan Dilnot (from Victoria) speaking about Dickens at the Seaside, Michelle Cavanagh is speaking about Dickens and Punch & Judy, Catherine Barker OAM is speaking about the concept of holidays in the Victorian era, Gary Corkill is speaking about Dickens’ trips to America, Jo Henwood is talking about A Holiday Romance and Dr. Vasudha Chandra is speaking about the perceived health benefits of the Victorian holiday. There will be much discussion and fellowship. Check-in from 2pm on Friday – programme finishes lunchtime on Sunday.
Bookings and pre-payment essential. For booking forms and further information please contact: nswdickens@gmail.com

Saturday April 8:
A talk by Catherine du Peloux Menagé; Scents and Smells in the time of Dickens
Dickens lived at a time when the rapid expansion and industrialisation of London was making the city an intolerable place to live for the less wealthy. Residents drank water from the Thames into which open sewers ran and there were regular cholera epidemics, until The Great Stink of 1857 when the stench of the Thames was so overwhelming that a Parliamentary recess was called. We know that Dickens liked to walk the streets of London, in rich and poor areas alike and the descriptions he gives in his writing allow readers today to experience not only the sights but also the smells of London, from the unpleasant to the delicious, as in A Christmas Carol. In Dickens’ novels smells are used to evoke places and people and to give information about social status. Unpleasant smells often signal moral corruption and pleasant smells happiness or moral virtue. When Oliver Twist goes to the country with Rose and Miss Maylie, the beautiful scents reflect his happiness and the moral superiority of his companions and the life he is now living:
“Oliver, whose days had been spent among squalid crowds, and in the midst of noise and brawling, seemed to enter on a new existence there. The rose and honeysuckle clung to the cottage walls; the ivy crept round the trunks of the trees; and the garden- flowers perfumed the air with delicious odours.”

In this talk, we will explore both the smells with which Dickens would have been familiar and the use of smell within his novels. We will also smell some perfumes still available today which were created in Dickens’ lifetime.
10am for 10.30am start at Sydney Room, City Tattersalls Club, 194 – 204 Pitt Street (near Market Street), Sydney. No bookings required. $5 entry fee for NSW Dickens Society members. $10 for non-members.

Saturday June 10:
A talk by Jacqui Newling; What shall we have for dinner?
In 1851 Lady Maria Clutterbuck (aka – but unknown to her readers – Mrs Charles Dickens) published a volume of menus or ‘Bills of Fare’ titled What shall we have for dinner?. Several more editions followed, with recipes included. These, and other texts of their ilk, fulfilled a need for a burgeoning middle class in the UK, but even more so in the Australian colonies, hungry to learn how to dine and entertain in a manner expected of their newly acquired (or aspired) status. Having to groom herself and ten children for a highly judgmental colonial society Sarah Wentworth, a ‘currency lass’ and wife of William Charles Wentworth of Vaucluse, is typical of many aspirational Australians who may have looked to Lady Clutterbuck for advice.
Jacqui Newling is an interpretation curator and ‘colonial gastronomer’ at Sydney Living Museums. She is ‘the cook’ in SLM’s The Cook & the Curator blog and author of Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens, and hosts a regular series of Colonial gastronomy programs in SLM’s historic houses.
10am for 10.30am start at Sydney Room, City Tattersalls Club, 194 – 204 Pitt Street (near Market Street), Sydney. No bookings required. $5 entry fee for NSW Dickens Society members. $10 for non-members.

Saturday August 12:
A talk by Walter Mason; Oliver Twist; the NSW Dickens Society 2017 Book of the Year
Walter is the Vice-President of the NSW Dickens Society, a speaker, author and travel guide. Oliver Twist, perhaps more than any other novel, cemented the trope of the helpless orphan and the victimised Victorian child, a popular idea that continues to have powerful cultural currency into the twentieth century. In this talk Walter will look at why Dickens wrote his novel, how it was received at the time of its release, how it affected the cultural perception of children. We will also explore the book’s various afterlives, especially as a famous piece of musical theatre.
10am for 10.30am start at Sydney Room, City Tattersalls Club, 194 – 204 Pitt Street (near Market Street), Sydney. No bookings required. $5 entry fee for NSW Dickens Society members. $10 for non-members.

Saturday October 14:
A talk by Susan Butler; Dickens and the English Language.
Susan Butler is the editor of the Macquarie Dictionary. She will be speaking about words which have come to us from Dickens and how he compares favorably to Shakespeare. Dickens had a good ear for the language, picking up and using what was current in English in his day, his achievement in doing this and the staying power that appearing in such well- loved works of literature has given the words that he chose. She will also speak about writers that have left their mark in the dictionary in this way and how we evaluate their legacy.
10am for 10.30am start at Sydney Room, City Tattersalls Club, 194 – 204 Pitt Street (near Market Street), Sydney. No bookings required. $5 entry fee for NSW Dickens Society members. $10 for non-members.

Saturday December 2:
Combined Australian Brontë Association and NSW Dickens Society Christmas Lunch. Please check our website https://dickenssydney.com/ closer to the date for further details.

Save the date for a fantastic 2018 Event:

Thursday, October 25 – Tuesday, October 30:
Dickens Fellowship Annual Conference; ‘Boz in Oz: Charles Dickens’ Colonial Connections’, in Sydney, NSW. Sydney has been chosen to host this auspicious event. We are planning some fascinating talks, excursions and entertainment.
Please check our website https://dickenssydney.com/ closer to the date for further details.

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