Playwright Charles Dickens !


I finally got to the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book department. They’ve had a exhibit of the Plays and players of Charles Dickens works. (Good thing I went yesterday as it was the last day of the exhibit.) I was really impressed with their collection and walked about for over an hour walking slowly from showcase to showcase. They had playbills of the late 19th century, letters to and from Dickens. ( I was glad to be able to read the typed out letters.) I tried reading his hand writing, and couldn’t translate every word. He didn’t have the penmanship I would have thought. Sorry old boy, but then I remembered that sometimes I cannot read my own handwriting an hour later. Guess I’m too dependent on the keyboard.

About Ric Ben-Safed

Technical and Freelance Writer, degrees in History,Psychology, and Master's in Social Policy and Planning. written hundreds of reports in regard to mental health, major research in genealogy and genetic genealogy as well as local history. I try to be and Independent leaning Libertarian but also like the cooperative anarchist ideas of L.Neil Smith, Murray Rombard, J. Neil Schulman. Fascinated by (Philadelphians, George Lippard ( 1830-1854). Gothic & City Noir, appreciate the Mystics of Philadelphia Mystic Johaness Kelpius (1667-1708), even "God may be a Verb!).
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3 Responses to Playwright Charles Dickens !

  1. jayboy322 says:

    I researched Dickens when I was giving the Musical Oliver!.. Oliver Twist was written and released one chapter at a time. I wanted to know the names of the urchins but none were given except the Artful Dodger and Oliver. I have visited the Dickens house in London and sat at his desk. It is said that his desk is at the Philadelphia Main Library. Were there more than one of them?.

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    • Thanks for your observations. I too visited the Dickens house in London in 2010. I think I saw that desk you mentioned, but I was kind of amazed when I ventured into the basement of the Dickens house, and saw that all four walls were covered with shelves and shelves of all of Dickens written opus in various languages.
      But I have to say, I didn’t see any desk of Dickens at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

      And I remembered his public struggle both men; Dickens and Edgar A. Poe had here in Philadelphia in 1842. There was no real ‘Copyright’ protection for writers then. Publishers in the U.S. and the U.K. would re-publish them without feeling any responsibility or accountability to the real author. I am sure both lost a lot financially because of this quirk in the intellectual property laws.

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    • Ricardo Ben-Safed says:

      Yes, I think there was more than one desk. I saw the one illustrated at the Doughty House in July when I was there. So I imagine that the Phila Free Library has indeed a genuine desk used by Charles Dickens. I am sure, they have researched all of their Charles Dickens memorabilia. Did learn from my Oxford tutor last month that Dickens came out with Oliver Twist over a 19 month period as a serial. Dickens named several of the children in “Oliver Twist”, It’s likely the names didn’t make the “cut” for the musical “Oliver” though.

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