Dickens and Parliament
This year marked the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens,
heralded one of the greatest novelists in British history. We know him
for classics such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and a Tale of Two
Cities, but what we don't know is where he began his prodigious writing career.
Before indulging in murky tales about subterranean London, Dickens toiled in the gallery
of the House of Commons as a Parliamentary reporter for the Morning
Chronicle, recording in earnest each detail of the day's business. But
what can we learn from Dickens' experiences in what was then a cold,
damp and somewhat bleak House? How may this less
glamorous career have influenced his later works? And what did he think of Parliament and the Parliamentary process?
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- Professor John Drew - Professor of English, University of Buckingham and author of Dickens the Journalist
- Lucinda Hawksley - Dickens’ great great great granddaughter and author of Charles Dickens
- Dr Caroline Shenton - Director of the Parliamentary Archives and author of The Day Parliament Burned Down
- Andrew Sparrow - Senior Political Correspondent, The Guardian and author of Obscure Scribblers: A History of Parliamentary Reporting
With readings by
- Robert Rogers - Clerk of the House and Chief Executive, House of Commons, and author of two parliamentary miscellanies - Order! Order! and Who Goes Home?
- Carolyn Quinn - Presenter, BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour and immediate past chair of the Press Gallery