The aim of this week-long travelling conference is to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens's birth, which falls on 7 February 2012, in a manner befitting a writer who has given so much to so many around the globe. It takes the form of a kind of pilgrimage - festive, of course, rather than solemn - joining four cardinal places central to Dickens's life and art. This journey of critical discovery takes us from Paris, where he finished Little Dorrit, to Condette near Boulogne where he spent time with Ellen Ternan, to Rochester and Chatham where he grew up, to end up in London, the city with which he is so often associated (rightly or wrongly), on the birthday itself. It is envisaged that some participants (like all members of the organizing committee) will want to enjoy the whole week-long experience, whereas others will drop in and out as they please.
Overall Conference Theme: 'Dickens and the Idea of 'The Dickensian'', with an emphasis on the city in Paris, on motion and travel in Boulogne, on the child in Chatham/Rochester, and on global Dickens in London.
The conference website is at http://dickens2012.org/TaleofFourCitiesConference.html and regular postings will keep prospective participants up to date with the most recent developments as they occur.
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The organising committee: Joan Dicks, Holly Furneaux, Michael Hollington, Christine Huguet, Pierric Maelstaf, Peter Merchant, Florian Schweizer, Sara Thornton, Paul Vita and Catherine Waters.