Dickens Meets Terence Rattigan

Rohan McWilliam A Tale of Two Cities is at the Kings Head, Islington, from 25 September-19 October 2013.  The script has been published by Samuel French. To the King’s Head pub theatre in Islington for a real curio: the premiere of a dramatisation of Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities by, of all people, Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud.  This version, written in 1935, has never been performed by professional actors on stage so its arrival at the Kings Head

Read more

The Government Shutdown and History

By Susan Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) On October 1, 2013, close to two weeks ago as I write this, the United States Congress failed to agree on a spending bill. This triggered a government shutdown, the eighteenth in this country since the creation of a new congressional budgetary procedure in 1976. The eighteenth shutdown in less than 40 years. This number would indicate that we’ve been there, done that. Except, as some journalists and political pundits inform

Read more

Dickens, the Digital, and The Doctor

By Peter J. Katz, Syracuse University In the latest Doctor Who Christmas Special (watch from 53:41 to 54:30), the Great Intelligence, a disembodied and purely intellectual power, threatens to take over Victorian London with an army of snowmen. At the last moment, The Doctor stumbles upon the secret weapon to use against the horde: a family crying on Christmas Eve. To be more particular, though: a Victorian family crying on a Victorian Christmas Eve. Doctor Who taps into a nostalgia

Read more

Peter J. Katz, ‘Dickens, the Digital, and The Doctor’

By Peter J. Katz, Syracuse University In the latest Doctor Who Christmas Special (watch from 53:41 to 54:30), the Great Intelligence, a disembodied and purely intellectual power, threatens to take over Victorian London with an army of snowmen. At the last moment, The Doctor stumbles upon the secret weapon to use against the horde: a family crying on Christmas Eve. To be more particular, though: a Victorian family crying on a Victorian Christmas Eve. Doctor Who taps into a nostalgia

Read more

Digital Continuations of Victorian Classics

By Carrie Sickmann Han, Indiana University Charles Dickens’s novels might actually go on forever, not only as immortal works of literature, but as infinitely continuable fictions, thanks in part to tweets like the one above. It’s a familiar fact that the digital humanities supply us with new methodological tools and reading platforms, but these technologies also produce a seemingly inexhaustible, living archive of neo-Victorian fictions that reposition us as co-authors of beloved Victorian novels. Twitter isn’t only “like” a Dickens

Read more

BAVS 2013: Numbering Numbers

In a memorable scene from Dickens’s Hard Times, Sissy Jupe recounts to Louisa Gradgrind her failure in her lessons to understand the ‘true’ meaning of numbers. She laments: ‘And [Mr M’Choakumchild] said, This schoolroom is an immense town, and in it there are a million of inhabitants, and only five-and-twenty are starved to death in the streets, in the course of a year. What is your remark on that proportion? And my remark was – for I couldn’t think of

Read more

This Charming Dickens…

Michael Slater’s recent work, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal, brilliantly opens with a selection of the various headlines that Dickens-based news stories have run in recent years. Predictably, they mostly relate to his relationship with Ellen Ternan, and range from the dramatic (‘THE DARK SIDE OF DICKENS AND THE LOVE THAT DESTROYED HIS MARRIAGE’) to the salacious (‘DICKENS’S ROMPS WITH NAUGHTY NELLY’) to the somewhat bizarre and creepy (‘DICKENS KEPT A KEEN EYE ON FALLEN WOMEN’).[1] With the approaching release

Read more

The Reading Project

By Susan Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) In the fall of 2012, I taught a version of my department’s Major Author Studies course on Charles Dickens.  As this was my second time teaching a course dedicated to Dickens (and my fourth time teaching Bleak House), I knew I had to pull out all the stops to convince my students—many of whom were non-majors or students who otherwise had no familiarity with Victorian literature—to care about three tomes of

Read more

Local/Global Dickens: seminar at “The Global and the Local” June 2013

Charlotte Mathieson, University of Warwick As part of The Global and the Local, the NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA conference held in Venice from 3rd-6th June 2013, I took part in one of the seminars that provided the opportunity for participants to put forward a short position paper on a chosen topic. The seminar on “Dickens: Local and Global” was led by Eileen Gillooly (Columbia University) and featured the following papers: Sharmaine Browne, “The Railroad as Architect in Dombey and Son” Beth Drumm, “Consigned

Read more