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Dickens artifacts at CK museum

Beginning November 24, visitors to the Chatham-Kent Museum can catch a glimpse of several artifacts related to the author Charles Dickens. One item is a weekly journal from 1852 entitled “Household Words”, which has one of his stories. 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth. This display, in our “Just in Case”, has been created in partnership with the Chatham-Kent Dickens Fellowship.

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 2021 in Landport, Portsmouth, England. From age four to eleven, Dickens lived in Chatham, Kent, England. In 1822, with his father in debtor’s prison, Dickens was forced to leave school and work at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse to help support his family. His childhood experiences are reflected in much of his writing.

Dickens became an accomplished reporter before he gained success as a writer. His first short story, “A Dinner at Poplar Walk”, was published in 1833. Many of Dickens’ novels were first published as episodes in weekly or monthly magazines and later reprinted in book form.

Dickens completed fourteen novels during his lifetime including The Pickwick Papers , Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop , David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. His fifteenth novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was unfinished when he died on June 9, 1870.

Dickens’ novels contain vivid descriptions of life in 19th century England, often highlighting the poor and disadvantaged within society. There have been at least 200 motion pictures and TV adaptations based on his work.

The Chatham-Kent Dickens Fellowship was established in 2003 to promote artistic and economic development in Chatham-Kent through the writings of Charles Dickens. For more information, visit their website at www.dickensfellowship.ca

The Chatham-Kent Museum is open 7 days a week from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation.