For September - December, 2018, we have selected for study Dickens's final and unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. We'll also read the mock trial of the suspected but uncertain murderer, John Jasper, carried out by the Dickens Fellowship 44 years after Dickens's death interrupted the novel's writing about half-way through. Such famous literary figures as George Bernard Shaw and G.K. Chesterton took prominent roles in that trial. Then in our final session in December we'll take our turn, as so many others have, in sharing our own ideas, based on the novel, as to the true culprit.
A Sampling of Old News
Many members will attend the matinee performance (2pm) at Everyman Theatre of the recent Gale Childs Daly adaptation of Great Expectations, directed here by Tazewell Thompson. We plan to have a discussion afterwards at a nearby restaurant. Some members will attend other performances as more convenient for them.
It is a big pleasure to inform you about the official opening of the Dickens Fellowship Carrara Branch. The headquarter of the DF Carrara branch is located in the oldest part of Carrara, along Via Carriona, the Roman road built by the Romans 2000 years ago. The building hosting the Carrara branch dates back to the XVI century and it is really nice.
We really hope we will meet all of you in Carrara next year (20-25 July 2017) on the occasion of the International Conference Dickens, Art and Landscape.
I will inform you about the programme as soon as possible.
For updated Conference information and reservation details see "Annual Conference" on the website: www.dickenscarrara.it
Benefits of Belonging.
Above Mary Jane Mallonee is shown at the Winterthur Museum with her neighbor Sheri Young and Gerald Dickens, when he performed works by his famous great-great grandfather several years ago.
(Here is an email I received from member Mary Jane after attending my first annual conference of the international Dickens Fellowship in July 2014. It speaks of the importance to her of this larger body, to which our Baltimore Branch now belongs.
~~ Menalcus Lankford)
I'm glad you enjoyed the conference in Chicago and have experienced the best of the Dickens Fellowship, which is not just a literary society but also a big family. This conference was my 15th, and I plan to attend as many more as I possibly can. Not only do I learn more about Dickens and his works, but it's wonderful to learn about the host city of the conference. The speakers and participants are friendly, and sometimes we all have to deal with the inconveniences and glitches that occur. I hope we can convince others in the Baltimore branch to consider attending the conferences and thinking of themselves as part of a worldwide organization.
FYI, here are the conferences that I have been able to attend (from memory!):
2000 Rochester/Chatham2001 New York
2008 Durham/North East England
2011 Christchurch (not official because of earthquake)
I'm looking forward to reading Dombey again and to seeing the Baltimore Dickens "family" in September.
At the 108th Annual Conference of the international Dickens Fellowship, meeting this year in Chicago, U.S.A., the new Baltimore branch received its charter from the Fellowship founded in London in 1902. The Fellowship's objective as stated then was "to knit together in a common bond of friendship lovers of the great master of humour and pathos, Charles Dickens", to spread the love of humanity, to campaign against those "social evils" that most concerned Dickens, and "to assist in the preservation and purchase of buildings and objects associated with his name or mentioned in his works". In 2005 "an additional objective was introduced - to promote the knowledge and appreciation of his works. This was to reflect the change in emphasis of the Fellowship's activities."
The convention itself included many engaging presentations focused on Dickens's works, life and the continuing interest in identifying sites mentioned in the novels. There were also two dramatic performances of his works and boat, walking and literary tours of Chicago -- and a fun banquet and farewell party in elegant Loyola University buildings on Lake Michigan.
Pictured below is the cover of the Conference brochure.
On April 5, 2014 the Council of the international Dickens Fellowship, meeting in London, accepted our Dickens group, and one from Montreal, as official branches of the Fellowship -- joining some sixty others in many countries of the world, from Christchurch, New Zealand to Copenhagen, Denmark and from Cambridge, England to Poona, India. This, after our four years as an informal, unofficial group meeting in the Baltimore, MD area. Already we have gained a new member who saw our international listing.