Sherlock Holmes Online Walking Tour

When Audible asked me to write a podcast about ‘The Real Sherlock’ I decided to create a walking tour of London that would take in some of the most important places in the lives of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the world’s most famous detective.

Join me on this virtual walking tour, on 23 August, where I’ll introduce you to the places that inspired the author and helped him to create Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and many other memorable characters. It’s also a great chance to see parts of London you may not have been able to visit – or perhaps you live in London and have simply walked past them without knowing their significance. You can join the event from anywhere in the world. Come and discover some of the hidden wonders of this wonderful city and be immersed in the London of Sherlock Holmes. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-sherlock-holmes-online-walking-tour-tickets-166637955611

Baker Street tube station in London
Audible Original The Real Sherlock, by Lucinda Hawksley
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Online walking tour

On 24 March, I’ll be doing a virtual ‘walking tour’ about William Morris in West London, starting at 6pm UK time, joinable from anywhere https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-morris-in-west-london-virtual-walk-tickets-145287289193

William Morris
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Travelling with E.M.Forster

The following article first appeared in The Independent newspaper in March 2016.

On my first visit to Italy I was 13. It was on a Schools Abroad trip, on which we spent a night in the port of Brindisi, where I and my fellow schoolmates were sexually harassed by scary sailors, made sick by the stink of diesel and where nothing could have been further from the Italy of Lucy Honeychurch and George Emerson. The next time I went to Italy I was about to go to university – I was in love with life, in love with travelling, in love with love and more than ready to fall in love with the Italy I knew from the works of E M Forster. It is a love affair that has never ended.

The British Institute in Florence, Italy, displaying copies of my book Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards - Facial Hair in Art.
The British Institute in Florence, Italy, displaying copies of my book Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards – Facial Hair in Art.

I first read A Room with a Viewat the age of 14 – and have continued to do so, on a regular basis, ever since. I turn to it whenever I need comfort reading; it’s the literary equivalent of hot buttery mashed potato on a miserably cold day. Despite having read it so many times, I seem to discover something new each time I read it.

Lights on the River Arno, in Florence, Italy, at night.
Lights on the River Arno, in Florence, Italy, at night.

The first time I visited Florence, I felt I knew it already. Seeing the Arno and knowing this was the same river on which Lucy, Charlotte and the Emersons also gazed, gave me a thrill of connection to a past age. In 2015 I gave a talk on my biography of Princess Louise at the British Institute in Florence. Stepping into the building, on the banks of the Arno, was to enter a world where nothing seemed to have changed since Princess Louise’s time (incidentally, a woman whom Forster knew). I felt as though I’d stepped into the Florence the Rev Eager would recognise, and was sure I could discern some of his “flock” in the audience.

There are so many books one should never re-read: books that spoke soulfully to your younger self seldom work when read again (most notably, for me, Paolo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept).A Room With A View, however, has entertained me at all stages of my life so far. Wherever I’ve travelled, I’ve encountered Forster’s characters. In Jordan, I could discern Mr Beebe and Mr Emerson visiting the temples of Petra. Last year I was in Norway when I saw a family sit down for a picnic – and they actually possessed “mackintosh squares”. I have visited churches, temples and mosques all over the world and have lost count of the times I have been informed “this was built by faith”, to which I always intone in my mind Mr Emerson’s words: “Built by faith indeed! That simply means the workmen weren’t paid properly.” So far, I have managed to prevent myself from saying it out loud. I hope E M Forster would smirk a wry smile at that.

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Dickens & Zoom

Can you spot my big blue Charles Dickens book getting pride of place in this BBC video? I’m very proud! The updated version is available from the online giftshop at The Charles Dickens Museum and all good bookshops. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/entertainment-arts-55861947

Book jacket for 'Charles Dickens' by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
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Paul O’Grady’s Broadstairs

In between lockdowns, I managed to do some filming, including working with the lovely Paul O’Grady on his Great British Escapes programme, for ITV. It’s available to watch on catch up. https://www.itv.com/hub/paul-ogradys-great-british-escape/10a0768a0003

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For the love of writing festival

I’m so pleased to have been asked to take part in this writing festival in Melbourne – even if it’s only possible via the power of the internet. I’ll be speaking about Dickens with my friend and fellow patron of the Dickens Museum, Miriam Margolyes. Tickets are on sale now – and FYI, if you’re in Europe, it’s a morning event, not at evening event as it states in the write up (it’s an Australian evening!).

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/for-the-love-of-writing-festival-tickets-134046882835

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1 December: Dickens’s Lost Portrait

This portrait of Charles Dickens was painted at the exact time he was writing A Christmas Carol, in 1843 – and then lost for almost 175 years. Join me to discover what was happening in Dickens’s life while he was working on his most famous Christmas book. I’ll also tell you about the talented female artist who painted his portrait and how she helped to inspire his writing. Fnd out the remarkable story behind the “lost portrait”, how it was re-discovered and how it can help us understand the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

The talk is taking place at 6pm UK time, and is joinable from all over the world. Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite, but the event will be on Zoom.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/begin-your-festive-season-with-dickenss-great-great-great-granddaughter-tickets-129469267063

The Lost Portrait: portrait of Charles Dickens, painted by Margaret Gillies in 1843, exhibited in 1844, then ‘lost’ for amost 175 years.
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Secrets and Surprises…

My next event in the #InConversationWith series is ‘Secrets and Surprises in Biography’, with fellow author Julie Summers, on 22 September. This is an online event, starting at 7pm UK time, but joinable from all over the world. Tickets and more information are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/secrets-and-surprises-in-biography-lucinda-hawksley-julie-summers-tickets-119874404571 The event itself will take place on Zoom (NB you cannot access the event through the Eventbrite website, that’s only a platform for buying tickets.)

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Book now!

The last booking date for my Life Writing course at the Verrocchio Arts Centre in Tuscany is 29 Feb 2020. The course is taking place 25 June-2 July 2020. Find out more here: http://www.verrocchio.co.uk/cms/index.php/2020-courses or email Hannah on office@verrocchio.co.uk for more information.

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Top Podcasts of 2019!

So pleased to see that my podcast “The Real Sherlock” made it into this article in Good Housekeeping Magazine: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/lifestyle/a30194508/best-audible-podcasts/

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Fabula Festival

On 10 October, I’ll be talking about my newly updated book Charles Dickens at Wanstead Library, as part of the Fabula Festival. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-lucinda-dickens-hawksley-tickets-69690926437?fbclid=IwAR32yFKkgCJuXqP5GL5ZGpIdYCt8xA-pt5BgxmTOJ0zDrje8C438lK_ghrU

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Dickens for 2020

Yesterday I popped in Carlton Books to fetch my very first author copy of my fully updated book about Charles Dickens. I think it is beautiful! Well done to all the team at Carlton, who have created a really lovely book.

Some of you may remember that this first came out in 2012, for the Dickens Bicentenary. This new version (priced £20 and coming out in September) is being published to commemorate the next Dickens anniversary: 2020 marks 150 years since his death. I’m already taking bookings for events, so please get in touch with me or my agent(s) to find out more.

The book jacket for my new book Charles Dickens: The Man, The Novels, The Victorian Age.
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Dickens Weekend By The Seaside

Book your tickets now from for a Weekend by the Seaside with Dickens in Manly, Sydney, on 18 & 19 May. Check out the programme here: (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5cac5e7516b640584a438447/t/5cc1170a58c0ed00012da828/1556158229852/25+April+-+2019+Weekend+Away+Flyer.pdf)  Two of Dickens’s sons moved to Australia and, aptly, this year’s theme is “Dickens and the Family”. I’ll be talking about my books and family history in two talks entitled “The Great Expectations of the Children of Charles Dickens” on the Saturday and “Katey: Dickens’s Artist Daughter” on the Sunday.

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My Audible narration

If you’re seeking a great #audiobook, try ‘Our Mutual Friend’ by Charles #Dickens, narrated by Meera Syal – with an introduction written & narrated by me! https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Our-Mutual-Friend-Audiobook/B079LR2L6Q

The image shows the Audible image for the cover of Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, narrated by Meera Syal, with an introduction written and narrated by me.
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Fleet Library talk

On Thursday 22 November, I’ll be talking about Dickens and Christmas at Fleet Library in Hampshire. Tickets are available from the library.

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Elizabeth Revealed

This is my new book! Elizabeth Revealed: 500 Facts about the Queen and her World is available now worldwide, published by Scala together with Historic Royal Palaces. You should be able to get it at your local bookshop, or you can order it online here: http://www.scalapublishers.com/title.aspx?category=&subcategory=&id=3906 (isn’t this a beautiful book jacket?)

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175 Years of ‘A Christmas Carol’

On 19 December, the 175th anniversary of ‘A Christmas Carol’, I’m going to be leading two special Dickens and Christmas walking tours of London, the first at 10am (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dickens-christmas-tickets-52174894514) & the second at 2pm (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dickens-christmas-tickets-52174903541). Both are on Eventbrite and bookable now!

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Princess Louise on Audible

On 12 June, my biography of Princess Louise will be available on Audible (& you can pre-order it now): https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Biographies-Memoirs/Queen-Victorias-Mysterious-Daughter-Audiobook/B07DCZ3J8H

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Queen Victoria and her Tragic Family

Queen Victoria and her Tragic Family begins on TV in the UK this weekend, starting on Channel 5 this Saturday (19 May), for 3 weeks: https://www.tvguide.co.uk/detail/2994683/138685784/queen-victoria-and-her-tragic-family I’ll be on it talking about Princess Louise. Hopefully it’ll be shown elsewhere around the world soon.

  

 

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The Project NZ

Last night I had great fun chatting with the presenters of The Project NZ (on TV3) about my book Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards, and about the Auckland Writers’ Festival. If you can access facebook, you can watch this video of the interview: https://www.facebook.com/TheProjectNZ/videos/1223716704431647/

 

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Auckland Writers’ Festival

I am doing 2 events at the Auckland Writers’ Festival this month, if you’re coming along, come and say hello and get your book signed! More info here: http://www.writersfestival.co.nz

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Also Festival

Tickets are now on sale for Also Festival, 29 June-1 July, “the best independent ideas festival in the country” – and I’ll be speaking there. (Wellies at the ready, just in case….) Find out more here: https://www.also-festival.com

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My new book on Katey Dickens Perugini

I have fully updated my 2006 biography of Kate Perugini (née Dickens). Katey, as I came to know her, was a superb artist and a central figure in the late 19th-century art world; she was also my great great great aunt. This updated version was made possible by the many kind people who contacted me after reading my first edition of the book to share news about previously ‘lost’ paintings. Researching Katey again has been so fascinating. Her new biography is being published by Pen and Sword on 30 April 2018. If you order it in advance (link below), you will get a discount of £3:

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Dickens-Artistic-Daughter-Katey-Paperback/p/14728

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Writing Biography workshop in Auckland

My other event at the Auckland Writers’ Festival in May is a workshop on “Writing Biography”. Tickets have just gone on sale:

http://www.writersfestival.co.nz/programmes/event/lucinda-hawksley-biography-writing/597989/

    

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Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards in Auckland

I am very happy to have been invited to take part in the Auckland Writers’ Festival in May. One of my events is a talk on my NPG book Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards, tickets go on sale today:

http://www.writersfestival.co.nz/programmes/event/moustaches-whiskers-and-beards/597829/

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Gibraltar Literary Festival 2017

This November, I’ll be speaking about my book “Charles Dickens and his Circle” at the Gibraltar Literary Festival.

http://www.gibraltarliteraryfestival.com/speakers/2017/lucinda-hawksley-62

 

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Warwick Literary Festival

This October, I’ll be speaking about Bitten by Witch Fever at the Warwick Literary Festival. Come along and found out how Victorians were being poisoned by their own homes.

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My Guardian article

In case you missed it the first time, here is my article on Charles Dickens and the Women Who Made Him:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/06/charles-dickens-and-the-women-who-made-him

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Auckland Writers Festival

I am so pleased to have been invited to speak about “Charles Dickens and his Circle” at the Auckland Writer’s Festival in New Zealand. My event will take place at 5.30pm on Friday 19 May; tickets are on sale now. http://www.writersfestival.co.nz/programmes/event/on-charles-lucinda-hawksley/331132/

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© Lucinda Hawksley 2021. Last updated 17 August 2021.