Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Tale of Three Birthdays

In typically fine form, today, Google celebrates the anniversary of the birth of storyteller supreme, Charles Dickens. Dickens, who would have been 200 today, was the author of A Christmas Carol (1843), Great Expectations (1860-1861), David Copperfield (1849-1850) and many others. Today’s celebrational Google Doodle features some of the better known characters from Dickens’ work, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver Twist and Philip Pirrip.

The Washington Post tell us that many people don’t realize how very famous Dickens was during his lifetime:
“He was so handsome when he visited Boston,” said Diana Archibald, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, which is hosting a citywide party today for Dickens. “He had long hair like a woman, and they treated him like a rock star.”
Meanwhile, The London Telegraph points out some of the celebrations taking place today in Dickens’ honor:
Events to be held across the country include a wreath-laying ceremony at Dickens' grave in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, and at his birthplace in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

The congregation at Westminster Abbey will include the largest ever gathering of descendants of the Victorian novelist as well as representatives from the worlds of literature, film, theatre and the media.

Charles will lay a wreath on Dickens' grave where he was buried in 1870.

The author had asked to be buried at Rochester Cathedral but a public outcry led to him being placed in Poets' Corner.

Ralph Fiennes, who will next be seen as Magwitch in a new film adaptation of Great Expectations, will read an extract from Bleak House with readings also being given by Mark Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, and biographer Claire Tomalin.
Meanwhile, Writer’s Almanac points out that it is also the birthday of Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis (Main Street, Babbitt), born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, in 1885 and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) born in Wisconsin in 1867.



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