In Dickens’s bicentenary year, it is pleasant to remind ourselves that the 19th century did, in fact, produce authors other than “The Inimitable”, as Dickens (only partly joking) called himself. Ackroyd was an earlier worshipper at the Dickens shrine, his 1990 biography including dramatised imaginings of Ackroyd meeting his subject.
Dickens’ 200th birthday, the ceremony at Westminster Abbey. (Live tweeting taking place under cover of the Order of Service, so as to be as unobtrusive as possible: all spelling/typos sic.)
Below is a leter from the group that fought to save the Cleveland Street Workhouse, the sole surviving 18th-century workhouse, and a probable model for the workhouse in Oliver Twist. The building was indeed listed, but now it looks like the University College Hospital Trust is hoping that weather and
Three thousand women turned out in London this weekend for a ‘Slutwalk’. This movement to assign responsibility for rape to its perpetrators, not to its victims, was triggered originally by a Canadian policeman, whose primary advice to women on how to avoid being raped was, ‘Don’t dress like sluts’. As
Well, that’s a Saturday spent usefully. No, I haven’t joined the Boy Scouts — although it’s a thought. Instead I spent the day at a seminar organized by the British Library in conjunction with Wikipedia. From the BL’s point of view, it was a way of promoting its special collections
What fun. The British Library (here) is calling all budding Victorianists to join them on 4 June for a massive edit-in. The idea from the library’s point of view is to help spread the word about the depth and breadth of the various Victorian collections quietly waiting for readers at
When Palmerston, Prime Minister from 1855-8, and 1859-65, died, in 1865, White’s, Boodle’s and Brookes’s clubs in St James’s all covered the front of their buildings in black drapery. The Reform club, however, topped that: it covered its street frontage with ‘a sable curtain, bearing a viscount’s coronet and the
In his novel Armadale, Wilkie Collins seemed to share the generally low view of professional detectives, as working-class men sticking their noses where they weren’t wanted. And the 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act added to the general perception. Divorce was now possible without getting a special act passed in parliament, but