Global Dickens

I’m hoping that I will be able to catch the just opened exhibition called Global Dickens: For Every Nation Upon Earth this Fall at London’s excellent Dickens Museum. The show runs from this week through November 3, 2019. Here’s what the museum curator has to say about the exhibit:

“When we think of Charles Dickens we often think of a quintessentially British writer but Dickens wasn’t just inspired by London, his beloved ‘magic lantern’, Dickens was writing about – and writing for – the world. This new exhibition presents a global picture of this famous author, exploring the impact of his travels on his life and his writing, and it examines how he has gone on to shape the lives of people around the globe.

Using magnificent exhibits from the Museum’s unparalleled collection – including Dickens’s travelling bag, holiday souvenirs, and a spectacular copy of David Copperfield that went to the Antarctic on the 1910 Scott expedition – we present Dickens as he saw himself: as a truly global writer.

I was reminded of the heartbreaking saga of Captain Scott’s ill-fated South Pole expedition when half of the crew reached the Pole only to discover that they had been beaten there by the Norwegian team and then all died on the way back to their ship. The remaining crew survived by living in a cave and eating penguins and seals. To cope with the boredom, each night they read one chapter of David Copperfield aloud. The crew managed to survive and actually brought the copy of the book (see below) back with them to New Zealand.

 

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