I’m now dedicated to asking Google for all my future needs. Why? My computer screen decided, without any provocation, to perform on its side. After hours of patient work exploring settings etc etc I gave up and went to bed. This morning I wrote politely to Google and it replied (in its way) press Ctrl and Alt + upward arrow- problem solved, thank you Google. Yes, using a computer does help enormously with writing books, but the looming ‘automation age’ does seem exciting. I guess that Charles Dickens, having been a great innovator, would approve; historically, he was also a great reformer. Roll on robots!
Congratulations to the Spectator, which has just announced it highest circulation in its 189 years history.
This is despite all the online competition and decline in traditional sales generally. I ‘m sure that Dickens would be very proud and admiring of this continued, incredible success. Mr Dickens, no doubt, influenced Britain’s society much more than the Spectator during his own lifetime, and the Spectator is likely to pay tribute similarly, also acknowledging his influence on the early years of their journal and aspirations. The Spectator was quite withering in its long and detailed review of Bleak House (link below) and is well worth reading. I am pleased to copy one of their tributes to him, also taken from the review.
‘If Mr. Dickens were now for the first time before the public, we should have found our space fully occupied in drawing attention to his wit, his invention, his eye for common life, for common men and women, for the everyday aspect of streets and houses, his ten- dency to delineate the affections and the humours rather than the passions of mankind ; and his defects would have served but to shade and modify the praises that flow forth willingly at the ap- pearance among us of a true and original genius.’
I am looking forward to visiting Peckham and holding my next event in this prize winning venue, in the Meeting Room Pod, no less. In another hat, I point out that Charles Dickens bought a house here in Peckham for his mistress, Nel Ternan- Peckham’s history is fascinating.
Wikipedia describes the library as a striking building best imagined as an inverted capital letter ‘L’, with the upper part supported by thin steel pillars set at apparently random angles. The exterior is clad with pre-patinated copper. The Stirling prize judges were impressed with the building’s approach. Alsop (architect) has taken the plan footprint of a conventional library and elevated it to create a public space beneath the building and to remove the quiet reading space from street level noise.
People always enjoy these Talks and Poppies, Pomp and People makes a good present for family and friends interested in our heritage and history. Please just come along or get a free ticket from: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-signing-event-for-my-new-book-poppies-pomp-and-people-peckham-library-tickets-34860021262
In 2012 the third raven to be named after Charles Dickens’ own pet arrived at the Tower of London. Dickens featured Grip in Barnaby Rudge.
The original Grip had a passion for paint, which sadly led to his death because he would tear it off furniture and eat it. Dickens had Grip stuffed and kept him nearby in his office and bought a replacement which was not so popular with his numerous children because they bit their ankles. Following the death of the great author, Grip was sold at auction.
Dickens also had a passion for geraniums and would, I guess, be delighted with the displays of them today at the Tower.
Dickens was driven predominantly by his loathing of ‘injustice.’ Fundamental to his character, it deeply motivated his writing and guided much of his thinking process. It likely fed his extraordinary drive and energy. The quotation is arguably one of the most motivational on record and relevant to us all.
This film was recorded in St Katharine Docks several years ago and yes, it is me behind the whiskers.
My interest in Dickens is very extensive, not least his views about the need for justice and fair play. Aditional to my books and St Katharine’s work, I feel deeply influenced by Charles Dickens, hence my numerous talks on the subject. Dickens was powerfully motivated against injustice of all kinds, from complex legal and government issues to class unfairness and straightforward cruelty- he would have been passionately upset and concerned about this ghastly elephant abuse. He would have been very proud of the people organising this campaign and would have written influential letters and articles to expose this horrible injustice. Incidentally, many people know about how he thankfully saved Great Ormond Street Hospital, but fewer know that he was similarly a great friend and benefactor to Battersea Dogs Home.
Please pass on this information and sign the petition- collectively we can make a difference and demonstrate our humanity.