Dickens and Childhood Conference

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p>I shall be one of the guest speakers at the V&A Museum of Childhood’s conference on 18th June 2012, for more information about the day, follow the link:

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2012 is here at last

The Dickens Bicentenary year has begun at last – many years of preparation have gone into organising the celebration and the Dickens 2012 website provides information about events all over the world.

To find out about talks I’ll be giving to commemorate 200 years since Charles Dickens’ birth, click on my Speaking Engagements page.

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Highgate Cemetery

In February, I shall be marking two very important occasions at Highgate Cemetery, both talks are to raise funds for the cemetery’s upkeep, so please do come along and support them.

On 11 February, it will be exactly 150 years since the death of Lizzie Siddal, who is buried at Highgate, so come along to a talk that evening on the life and death of the original supermodel.

On 13 February, I shall be giving a talk about the Dickens family’s connection to Highgate. Catherine Dickens, wife of the novelist, and their infant daughter Dora are both buried in the cemetery, as are several other Dickens family members. Come along and discover a different side to the Dickens bicentenary year.

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The Penny Readings at The British Library

custom writingp>On Sunday 22 January, the British Library in London will be revisiting the historic idea of Penny Readings, where you really can buy tickets for just 1p. I’ll be one of the readers, alongside Anna Maxwell Martin, A S Byatt, Arthur Smith, Louis de Bernieres, Patricia Hammond, Romany and Tweedy the Clown.

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Mrs Dickens’ Family Christmas

I really enjoyed taking part in the BBC programme Mrs Dickens’ Family Christmas, not least because Sue Perkins is even funnier in real life than she is on TV. It’s available to watch on BBC iPlayer for another few days:

(Rumour has it that the documentary has also been uploaded to You Tube.)

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Lizzie Siddal's anniversary

11 February 2012 will be the 150th anniversary of Lizzie Siddal’s death. I am talking to Highgate Cemetery about marking the occasion and will update my website when I have some news to share.

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1 November 2011 horizontal rule

Upcoming speaking events

November and December are going to be very busy months for book events, both in the UK and overseas. You can find out more on my Speaking Engagements page, but as a taster, I shall be talking about my new book. Charles Dickens (published by Andre Deutsch) in London, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Bristol, Texas, Chicago and New York between now and Christmas.

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Sunday Times 30 Oct 2011

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p>A lovely piece about my book appeared in The Sunday Times’ Culture section. Richard Brooks wrote: “[it] contains fascinating documents and memorabilia, copies of which can be removed from specially designed ‘envelopes’ inside the book. These really bring alive Dickens’ life, and include his handwritten Coutts bank account; previously unseen photos from his daughter Katey’s photo album; and his reading copy, with annotated notes, of Oliver Twist.”

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200 Years of Charles Dickens

My visit to the Morley Literature Festival marked the beginning of the publicity for Charles Dickens, published by Andre Deutsch. I have a number of talks coming up over the next year, at libraries, bookshops and literary festivals, so if you’re looking for an event near you, please check my speaking engagements page for updates.

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Brantwood: (Now That Would Be) Telling

p>In August, John Ruskin’s home in Brantwood opened an exhibition of works by artist Hayley Lock, accompanied by text written by me. Hayley and I had great fun working on (Now That Would Be) Telling, which was a project melding fact and fiction. The exhibition is now closed, but my text can still be read online:

(Now That Would Be) Telling, curated by Catherine Hemelryk, is travelling around the country, with Hayley producing five different collections of works, at five fascinating venues, with five writers (who are equally fascinating!). On 1 October, the London exhibition opened at Dr Johnson’s House, with text by the very talented Hallie Rubenhold.

You can find out more about Hayley’s work on her website:

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Leeds Book Club podcast

I’m “Twitter-friends” with Leeds Book Club and was asked to give an author interview about the book they had most recently read, my Lizzie Siddal, The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel. The interview – in which I do get slight verbal diarrhoea at one point – is now available as a podcast. There’s a little bit of skype-induced white noise in the middle, but it doesn’t last very long. You can listen to it here: 

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4 October 2011 horizontal rule

The Sunday Times article…

Many people will have seen the article about my new book, Charles Dickens, in The Sunday Times on 2 October. It was great publicity, but rather inaccurate. Not least because, in the interview, I stated at least twice that Catherine Dickens was NOT an alcoholic. I explained that the ridiculous rumours of her alleged “drink problem” were started by supporters of Dickens who were trying to justify his decision to separate from her.

The article also implies that I believe Dickens slept with one or both of his sisters-in-law, in fact I said the opposite, that, yes, there have been rumours, but I don’t believe them. Another inaccuracy to correct is that the wrong publisher was credited; the real publisher of my book is Andre Deutsch (part of Carlton Books). Having said which, the article is great publicity, but anyone buying the book and thinking it’s going to be a sex-scandal-filled exposé is going to be rather disappointed. It’s a great book though!

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Celebrating Dickens in Texas

I’m very excited to be visiting Texas again this December. I’ve been asked to the 38th Dickens on the Strand Festival on Galveston Island. The festival is a wonderful opportunity to dress up and enjoy everything Dickensian. I shall be making regular guest appearances, enjoying the events, mingling with carollers, British bobbies and Steampunks, and signing books (I also hope to be able to do some dolphin watching, I was very lucky last year). Find out more and book tickets at:

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Morley Literary Festival

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p>The very first talk I give about my new book will be at the Morley Literary Festival near Leeds. The festival takes place on 8-16 October. I will be talking about Charles Dickens at the Literary Lunch on Monday 10th October.–-200-years-on/

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My new book on Charles Dickens

On 1 October my new book about Charles Dickens is being published by Andre Deutsch. It was really good to work with Andre Deutsch again, as they did such a great job with my Lizzie Siddal biography. The book is being published to commemorate  the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth (he was born on 7 February 1812). I will be doing a number of speaking engagements to mark the publication of the book, starting in October 2o11 and continuing all through 2012, so please keep checking my Speaking Engagements page.

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50 British Artists You Should Know

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p>50 British Artists You Should Know was published by Prestel in April 2011. It’s a look at some of the most important and / or controversial artists in British art history, from Nicholas Hilliard to Banksy and was great fun to write. I loved being able to get some of my favourite artists in there, including William Hogarth, John Everett Millais, L.S.Lowry, Maggie Hambling and Yinka Shonibare. 50 British Artists You Should Know is available at Amazon, at all good bookshops and in all good art gallery bookshops.

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Katey's celebrity reader

The BAFTA-award-winning actress Miriam Margolyes revealed in an interview for The Independent on Sunday that she is currently reading Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter because Charles Dickens is her “mad pash”. Miriam Margolyes is currently appearing on the West End stage to great acclaim in the musical Wicked.

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17 September 2006 horizontal rule

Writers' FM

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p>I was interviewed by Karl Moore of Writers FM  the online radio station written by writers for writers. We chatted for well over an hour about both my biographies: Lizzie Siddal: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel and Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter. To find out more about Writers FM and to download the interview (please be aware that this does take some time) go to

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© Lucinda Hawksley 2021. Last updated 28 September 2021.