Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday Celebrated in Philadelphia

Jon Harris

Philadelphia public library and many book groups around the world are preparing to celebrate the 200th birthday of famous British author Charles Dickens, who was born on February 7, 1812. They boasts an impressive collection of Dickens collectibles, including his stuffed pet, Grip, sketches for 'Oliver Twist', first published installments of 'Hard Times' and a handwritten letter to his publisher about Little Nell, the actress Nelly Ternan with whom Charles Dickens fell in love with. The Philadelphia public library also has 1200 intriguing letters, from two major Dickens collections.

In a statement, librarian Siobhan Reardon said:

"(It was) the ideal opportunity to share our literary treasures with the community and celebrate the fact that Dickens' clever characters and engaging plotlines transcend time and are as relevant today as they were when he created them."
"Dickens writes about important social issues that are still nagging at us today — poverty, inequality in wealth, the abuse of children, issues of social class, aspiration to move beyond the station into which you were born, and the problems that arise from that."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle