A Tale of Four Cities
Dickens Bicentenary Travelling Conference
Paris, Boulogne, Rochester, London
Starting at the Hôtel de Ville in Paris
& finishing at Westminster Abbey and Mansion House in London
2-8 February 2012
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended a ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 7th February 2012 to celebrate the life and work of Charles Dickens on the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Excerpts of Dickens’ writings were read during the ceremony. Claire Tomalin, Dickens’ biographer, read from a letter that Dickens wrote to his sister. Mark Charles Dickens, Great Great Grandson and Head of the Dickens Family, read from The Life of Our Lord, which Dickens wrote for his children. Actor and director Ralph Fiennes read ‘Jo’s Will’ from Bleak House. The Right Reverend Michael Dickens Whinney, Great Great Grandson, read Luke 14: 7-14. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams, gave the Address.
The celebrations carried on with a banquet in Dickens’s honour at Mansion House hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The cast of the musical Oliver! performed a song and Patrick Stewart read a passage from A Christmas Carol.
The Dickens Bicentenary Travelling Conference led to several publications:
Estelle Murail, Sara Thornton, eds. Dickens and the Virtual City: Urban Perception and the Production of Social Space. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319350851
Christine Huguet and Paul Vita, eds. Unsettling Dickens: Process, Progress and Change. Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, 2016.
Catherine Waters, Peter Merchant, eds. Dickens and the Imagined Child. New York: Routledge, 2015.