Dickens Book Club: January's featured title – Barnaby Rudge

By john joyce on 5 Jan 2012

Having in previous months featured such titles as The Mystery of Edwin Drood and A Tale of Two Cities on our virtual book club in support of our new exhibition, Dickens and London. We are focusing this month on one of Dickens less renowned works – Barnaby Rudge. It is early days in terms of my reading (and the sharing of my thoughts which can be found on our twitter and Facebook pages) but I have already been struck by how this work may have influenced a later addition to the Dickens canon, Great Expectations. I have also had a […]

Dickens Book Club December – why I love Dickens

By sue neaves on 1 Dec 2011

Sue Neaves, Programme Manager (Family Learning) is just about to start reading (or rather re-reading) A Christmas Carol for our Dickens Book Club. Here are Sue’s initial thoughts: With its message of hope A Christmas Carol is an obvious Christmas choice quite apart from the setting. Some people don’t like reading Dickens. They say it is complicated, full of exaggerated characters and unlikely coincidences; just like real life, then. Please persevere. If you doubt that life is full of colourful characters and people behaving in extraordinary and ridiculous ways then you must come from a somewhat sheltered background. I think many of us […]

Dickens Book Club November – The Mystery of Edwin Drood revisited

By john joyce on 30 Nov 2011

Now that our reading of The Mystery of Edwin Drood has come to an end Records Manager, Sarah Demb, shares her final thoughts and experiences on completing this unfinished work. In truth, I find Dickens a difficult read, although I’m a voracious reader of maximalist fiction and devoted to fictional London, which informs my immigrant experience of the city almost as much as my daily life. But I had to force myself through this short novel (I highly recommend Dan Simmons’ ‘Drood’- his fictionalisation vision of events that could have inspired the writing of the book as Dickens and his friend, author […]

Dickens Book Club November – The Mystery of Edwin Drood

By john joyce on 1 Nov 2011

Preparations for November’s Dickens Book Club novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood with our Records Manager, Sarah Demb are now in place: I love a good mystery but balked at the normal bulk of a Dickens’ tome, so surely The Mystery of Edwin Drood was for me. It opens as a classic potboiler in its lurid depiction of an opium den in Victorian London’s East End. Fascinating to both his readers of the time and countless others afterwards, he invites us to spy through Drood’s uncle John Jasper’s eyes, safe in the knowledge that this exotic depravity can’t touch us. […]

Dickens Book Club October – A Tale of Two Cities

By john joyce on 30 Sep 2011

Preparations begin for October’s Dickens Book Club novel, A Tale of Two Cities with our Marketing Officer, Anne McMeekin. October’s Dickens Book Club has already kicked off in my household, descending as I have into Dickens’ murky world of the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy five in A Tale of Two Cities. Despite having studied English Literature at university my Dickens readometer is a little stunted (blame the tutors). Great Expectations (favourite all-time novel) and Oliver Twist (precious few show tunes) are the only two books I have made it to the end of. Even my dad’s fervent […]

Museum launches its social media activity for Dickens and London exhibition

By john joyce on 8 Sep 2011

If Charles Dickens was alive today do you think he would be part of the Twitterati or an avid Facebook fan? (Remember, this is the man who in September 1860 burnt the majority of his correspondence). Here at the Museum of London we have decided to honour Dickens’ work with a major exhibition Dickens and London which opens on 9 December 2011 in advance of the 200th anniversary of his birth, in 2012. We have plans for a number of social media initiatives that we hope will enhance both the exhibition and your visit, the first of which launches this Monday […]

An 'author-ity' on our upcoming Gladiator Games

By john joyce on 24 May 2011

In advance of our Gladiator Games this July and with the kind permisssion of the publisher, The History Press, we are able to share with you extracts from the book “The World of the Gladiator” by author Susanna Shadrake. Who is also an historical adviser for our gladiator reinactors Britannia who are competing at our games. Susanna’s book provides us with insight and context for both the preparations and the nature of the combat you can experience over the two days of our games taking place on the site of London’s original Roman amphitheatre, now the Guildhall Yard. The First Amphitheatres Amphitheatres had […]

'Boys and Girls' by Paul Burston

By star guest on 7 Feb 2011

As Jimmy Somerville sang many years ago, there’s more to love than boy meets girl. Which is one of the reasons I chose to edit a short story collection called ‘Boys and Girls’. The book contains stories of young lesbian and gay love, and what better time to celebrate love in all its many varieties than on Valentine’s Day? For Valentine’s @ Late I’ll be joined by several contributors to the book, including Stonewall Award-winning author Stella Duffy Former Write Queer London winner Keith Jarrett Performance poet Sophia Blackwell And writer Joe Storey-Scott   There’ll be tales of teenage crushes, […]

Food Memories by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

By star guest on 20 Jan 2011

Our first star guest blog comes from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown ahead of her event at the Museum of London Docklands on 28 January. For more information about the event click here. Way back in 1954, Alice.B. Toklas, the lesbian lover of avant garde writer Gertrude Stein penned a cookbook, fabulously recreating the flavours of their long life together in France. Stein was the clever, demanding ‘husband’; wife Alice, a bountiful gastronome. The recipes are replete with pleasure and sex that couldn’t speak its name so had to be covered in pastry and rich sauces. Her lover is always ‘Gertrude Stein’ and […]