2019 NSW Dickens Society Events

Books of the Year for 2019: American Notes (1842) and Pictures from Italy (1846)

Meetings: 10am for 10.30am start at Nangamay Room (formerly 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.IMG_4473

 2019 List of Events


Saturday 2nd February
NSWDS AGM + A talk by Susannah Fullerton OAM, FRSN; Queen Victoria & Charles Dickens 

2019 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. There’s no better time to look at the relationship between the Queen Empress and the most famous writer of her realm. What did the Queen think of the novels of Mr Dickens? What did he think of her, and did they ever meet? Susannah Fullerton examines the relationship between two notable Victorians. Before the talk, Valentine’s Day cards which Dickens characters might have sent each other, written by Ron Withington, will be read by Geoffrey Usher and Catherine du Peloux Menagé.

Thursday 7th February
Charles Dickens’ Birthday Celebrations

Eat (cake), drink (sparkling wine) and be merry to celebrate Charles Dickens’ 207th birthday at the foot of one of the few statues of him in the world. Geoffrey Usher will read the two Henry Lawson poems about Dickens in his inimitable voice.
10.30am: Corner of Dickens Drive and Loch Avenue, Centennial Parklands, Sydney. Free, but please RSVP by 1.02.19 for catering purposes to louiseo@bigpond.net.au

Saturday 6th April
A talk by Louella KerrThe Fun of Collecting Dickens

What kind of collector are you? ? Are you a completist or are you interested mainly in the highlights of Dickens? Are you motivated by pleasure or profit? Do you want to have fun or to collect with investment in mind? The field open to the would-be collector of Charles Dickens is enormous. The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature [1970] lists Dickens editions from 1833 to 1970 in over 70 columns. So the first consideration for the collector must be – what’s my goal? Whilst this talk is geared towards the former, there is no reason why a Dickens collection should not be a
sound investment. There is a wealth of treasure to be found by the adventurous collector – plays, speeches, magazine articles, Association copies, ephemera, sets, Australian editions, illustrated editions, fakes and forgeries, to name but a few directions a collection might take. Louella Kerr will discuss all these and more in her talk. Before the talk Jane Fulton will show and speak about her collection of Edith Russell Dickens dolls.

Saturday 18th May and Sunday 19th May
NSW Dickens Society Weekend by the Seaside. Theme; Dickens and the Family

A celebration of the works, life and times of Charles Dickens on the broad theme of Dickens and the Family. Fascinating talks by Charles and Catherine Dickens’ great, great, great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley, fine antique and period jewellery specialist and speaker Anne Schofield, prolific author Kate Forsyth will be in conversation with Catherine du Peloux Menagé, wonderful talks by antiquarian book aficionado Professor Chris Browne, travel writer, speaker and lecturer Walter Mason, food historian Charmaine O’Brien and historical architecture and interiors authority Kaye
Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific, 55 N Steyne, Manly NSW. Separate cost.
For information, please email; louiseo@bigpond.net.au

Saturday 1st June
A talk by Walter Mason; Nineteenth Century Journeys through America and Italy 

The NSW Dickens Society has chosen Dickens’ two travel books, American Notes and Pictures from Italy as our Books of the Year for 2019. NSW Dickens Society Vice President and travel writer, Walter Mason, will examine what drove Dickens to travel, and the distinctively 19th century obsessions that shaped his itinerary while abroad. These books managed to infuriate and offend as much as they delighted readers, and we will spend some time looking at the assumptions and prejudices that Dickens took with him along with his wife, his family and his travel trunks. From phrenology and burning books to smouldering volcanoes and street carnivals, this will be a wonderful opportunity to visit two of Dickens’ less well-known texts and look at what it means for a writer to travel, to observe and to record things seen. Walter’s witty and informed talks are always a great favourite of Society members.

Saturday 3rd August
A talk by Dr. Vasudha Chandra; Prescription for Mr. Dickens 

What ailed Charles Dickens, the man? What about some of his sickly and invalid characters? What medical conditions did they suffer from? This talk delves into such diagnostic dilemmas and explores some of the treatments used in Dickens’ time, including taking a holiday, which many Victorians believed to have health-giving benefits.

Saturday 5th October
A talk by Isabel Deeble; Charles Dickens and his American Reading Tour 

Social media creates celebrities overnight but Charles Dickens was arguably the first international celebrity over 150 years ago. He attracted fame particularly though his paid readings in the later part of his life, and especially during his second trip to America (1867/68). There was a rapturous public reception to the ‘British lion’. His dramatic readings, their staging and scripting were highly praised. He made a ‘multitude of new friends’, some of them eminent figures like himself. On his second tour he noted illuminating observations and experiences. We will explore this triumphal reading
tour and the responses it drew from his audiences.

Combined Australian Brontë Association & NSW Dickens Society Christmas Lunch: date and location to be confirmed.

Please check our website closer to the date: https://dickenssydney.com/ Separate cost.

Meetings: 10am for 10.30am start at Nangamay Room (formerly 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








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