What the Dickens? Why London’s Novelist is Everywhere in 2012

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You may have caught the BBC’s Great Expectations adaptation over Christmas, and already seen the fantastic Dickens and London exhibition at the Museum of London, but for fans of London’s most famous novelist, the phrase “please sir, can I have some more?” has never been more appropriate.

7 February 2012 marks 200 years since Dickens’ birth and institutions and organisations all over the world are staging a variety of cultural events to celebrate.

The programme, called Dickens 2012, is being co-ordinated by the Charles Dickens Museum and Film London and patrons include Sir Derek Jacobi, Peter Ackroyd and Claire Tomalin.

In London – the city that Dickens more than anyone else helped to document and mythologise – venues include the British Library, BFI Southbank and of course the Charles Dickens Museum. The main highlights are:

Other Dickens 2012 events are at the V&A Museum of Childhood, the V&A itself and there’s even a Dickens book club at Foyles bookshop. (My 2012 resolution is to finally finish Little Dorrit).

For more information on Dickens 2012 visit www.dickens2012.org. And use the comments below to let us know if you’ve enjoyed any of the bicentenary events, or even your favourite Dickensian London spot.


  1. Amelia Haus says:

    What good timing!
    We’ll be celebrating Dickens throughout February as well, especially Dickens’s relationship with London; not only have we published ‘Dickens’s London’ – London is illuminated by Dickens’s novels, letters and life http://www.hauspublishing.com/product/396 – we’ll be launching the book with a talk on Dickens birthday, at the bookHaus (70 Cadogan Place, SW1X 9AH) and later in the month, going on one of the walks from the book, starting at Lincoln’s Inn.
    For more information, email amelia@hauspublishing.com, and we’d love to see you there!

  2. Dickens really painted a picture of London. This is quite fitting really. London has a huge year ahead of it and a lot of people will be curious about it’s history as a result.

  3. Janet Couzens says:

    Disgusted that you are supporting the closure of the Dicken’s Museum in this year of all years. All those Olympic Visitors from abroad with time on their hands between events could have drawn in a huge well of support for the Museum. The Museum is cutting its nose to spite its face. Dicken’s Lovers want to go to his actual house not to mere exhibitions all over the place: they want to tread in the place where he trod: they want to imagine. I feel so sorry for all those people from abroad who look forward to visiting his house this year, including Dickens’ societies from the USA it seems, only to find it closed. It’s a terrible arrogance and selfishness by the Museum. The time limits for spending Heritage grant monies should have been intelligently negotiated. I’ll stay at home and read his books but I shall not support any Dickens’ event this year out of protest.