Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Dickens Of a Time

TODAY MARKS THE 200TH year since writer Charles Dickens was born and celebrations are being held around the world including in Sydney.

The Centenniel Park Dickens statue
The NSW Dickens Society will be gathering at the base of the recently restored statue of Charles on the corner of Dickens Drive and Loch Avenue South, Centennial Park.

According to the society there will be speeches, readings from Dicken's books and 'entertainment pieces'.

Charles Dickens, born in Portsea in 1812 became a popular writer during his lifetime and sold many of his stories via instalments and serials, a sales method that he was basically the first to develop successfully.

Dickens early life was relatively peaceful in the country but when his family moved to Camden Town in 1822 his father's finances dramatically changerd their lives.  John Dickens lived beyond his means and was eventually imprisoned in the Marshalea Debtor's Prison in Southwick. Soon his entire family joined him there except for Charles who was sent to stay with a family friend. A series of strenuous jobs with long hours to pay for board gave Dickens plenty of inspiration for his books, most of which are a commentary on the harshness of British life at the time, but with kind hearted heroines and heroes to save the day. Dickens' books are a far more accurate account of life in England during the 19th century than many history book

Miriam Margoyles
At the Glen Street Theatre in Belrose Harry Potter star Miriam Margoyles is presenting  Dickens Women until Feb 13th.

Jeremy Hunt
Dickens two sons Alfred and Edward were encouraged by their father to emigrate to Austraia at the advent of free settlers and both prospered.

Edward married the daugher of a stock and station agent and managed the business and was elected to a seat in the State Legislative Council for 5 years. Alfred, successful businessman died during a trip to the USA.

When Dickens wrote his books they were so popular he was responibe for bringing to the notice of the great public some of the more shocking conditions others lived in and thus was the inspiration for change,

British Parliamentarian Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is planning to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dickens by giving every one of his Cabinet colleagues a copy of one of the great author's works. Each book - carefully chosen to encapsulate something about the recipient - will be presented at Cabinet today.

Let's hope they don't mistake them for government  policy discussion papers. Plenty of  Hunt's Tory partners on the right would gladly return to Dickensian times,

  Australia's X-Factor winner 18 year old Reece Mastin has been touring non-stop since his win and has released a best selling album and a top i-tunes seller.

 Now he has become a gay pin-up after this picture of a topless Reece appeared on a gay music website.
It's spread all over the net.