Dickensian delights for a 200th birthday

Publication Date

Union will join readers on both sides of the Atlantic Tuesday, Feb. 7, in celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, the literary giant who brought the world Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and a dozen other major novels.

Dickens' birthday

“The Dickens Bicentennial” on the first floor atrium of Schaffer Library includes selected editions of the author's novels and writings from Special Collections, along with news articles, photos and web resources marking the date. The exhibit, curated by Courtney Seymour, head of Collection Development at Schaffer, runs through Feb. 14.

Dickens’ cultural legacy is a source of pride at Union. Since 2008, Dickens House, one of the College’s 13 theme houses, has hosted events based on the author’s literary works and themes.

And in 2010, the library hosted an exhibit, “Dickens in America,” to commemorate the author’s two stateside tours, when Dickens was greeted like a rock star and ticket scalpers feasted on an adoring public. Featured in the exhibit was a thank-you note from Dickens to John Bigelow, Class of 1835, for copies of Bigelow’s just-published biography of Benjamin Franklin. Bigelow is the subject of his own exhibit at Schaffer, “Remembered First Citizen.”

Finally, those with a sweet spot for Dickens can celebrate his birthday during the Tuesday Common Hour program beginning at 12:50 p.m. in Olin Auditorium. Schaffer Library will supply cupcakes for the talk by Ellen Borkowski, chief information officer.