Tag Archives: Charles Dickens


Dickens turns 205 today. The birthday of a Victorian author, even one as famous as Dickens, may not seem an obvious day of reflection for Shakespeareans, but Dickens himself was an ardent Shakespearean. He himself celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday each year, and it is only fair that the favour be returned. There are numerous avenues to […]

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Poetry for Summer

One of the hats I like wearing is that of the Director of The Stratford –upon-Avon Poetry Festival. It’s one I’ve worn for several years now and each year, as I come to organise the programme, I try to ring the changes a little. The Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival is our way of celebrating poetry in […]

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Shakespeare’s Birthday Presents!

Chances are that you can’t make it in person to join in the Shakespeare Birthday festivities in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend. But it’s my hope that wherever you are in the world, you feel in some way connected to the celebrations. On Friday afternoon I welcomed novelist Salley Vickers to give this year’s Shakespeare Birthday Lecture. […]

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Shakespeare Salutes Dickens Part 3

Dickens loved (and lived and breathed) the theatre. In this gently satirical piece, ‘Some of the Performers’ from Sketches by Boz, he takes us backstage just before the curtain rises on a performance of Macbeth… It’s read by my colleague, Dr Nick Walton. Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Dickens! We at The Shakespeare Centre salute thee! […]

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Shakespeare Salutes Dickens Part 2

This morning I led the assembly at Shottery Church of England Primary School. Many of the pupils were sittings their SATS tests, so only the very young ones were present (4 to 7 years olds). I was determined to tell them a little about Charles Dickens and read to them a slightly abridged version of […]

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Shakespeare Salutes Dickens – Part 1

I’m going to be posting a series of sound recordings over the coming weeks in celebration of Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday. On the eve of the great day itself, I thought I’d ask my colleague, Viv Tomlinson, for her contribution. She has worked in Shakespeare’s Birthplace for more than decade and is a great Dickens […]

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Two Hundred Years of Greatness!

Quite often, when I look at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, or to walk past it, I think of Charles Dickens. I think about how I wouldn’t be seeing Shakespeare’s House cared for by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust without him. In short, I wouldn’t be working in my current job without the encouragement and effort Dickens contributed to […]

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What Larks! Shakespeare and Dickens

Although I’ve devoted most of my life to Shakespeare, Dickens was my first literary love, and provides my earliest bookish memory. It must date back to around 1940, when I was ten years old, a primary school child in Yorkshire. I remember spending much of a weekend sitting behind a sofa reading The Pickwick Papers […]

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Getting To Know Shakespeare Webinar

On Monday this week I hosted a webinar, Getting to Know Shakespeare, with Professor Ewan Fernie of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. The recording is now available. We took the title of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s new course, Getting to Know Shakespeare and used it to reflect a little on how we first got […]

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