Blog Posts

By   Edward G. Pettit The conviviality of the Dickensian world is nowhere more apparent than in Dickens’s Christmas books and stories. From Mr Pickwick celebrating at Dingley Dell to Scrooge offering Bob Cratchit a talk over a bowl of smoking bishop, Dickens knew that Christmas “was the season of hospitality,… continue reading

By Janine P.    December 10, 2012   

Tonight's opening of Paint The American Eagle marks the Free Library's first foray into hosting and co-producing a production for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.  The partnership with local playwright and producer Reuben Wade is particularly fitting for the 2012 festival as the staged reading of… continue reading

By Karin S.    September 10, 2012   

By Edward Pettit The Vincent Van Gogh exhibition, Van Gogh Up Close , now open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been receiving lots of attention . The exhibition focuses on Van Gogh’s paintings of nature and one can see the vibrancy in color and texture of our everyday world  that the artist illuminates.  Van Gogh… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    April 23, 2012    2

by Edward Pettit Tonight our Dickens Literary Salon will be discussing the author’s final, incomplete mystery novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood .  SPOILERS AHEAD When Edwin Drood goes missing it is assumed that he has been murdered. Edwin’s uncle and guardian, John Jasper, is the choirmaster of the Cloisterham… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    March 15, 2012    2

When Charles Dickens died suddenly of stroke in 1870 he had written half of a novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood .  Dickens published all of his novels in serial format and wrote the chapters sometimes just weeks before they were published.  So when he died with Drood only half written, it really was just that, only half… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    March 2, 2012    1

Today marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, and the Free Library joins the global celebration honoring the life and legacy of the world's first literary superstar. Philadelphia is home to what for a long time was the world's only statue of Charles Dickens. Find out more about the statue in our digital collection .… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    February 7, 2012    2

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Year of Dickens 2012 carries on throughout February—Charles Dickens’s birthday month! Mr. Dickens officially turns 200 on February 7, but we're celebrating all month long! With more literary salons, a birthday celebration, and readings over breakfast at The Dandelion,… continue reading

By Eileen O.    January 24, 2012    2

Next month marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. With brightly colored banners hanging outside Parkway Central, Rare Book Department exhibitions, special storytime readings, and our very own Dickens impersonator, the Free Library is ready for the celebration! We’re not the only ones venerating the inimitable… continue reading

By Eileen O.    January 10, 2012   

Beginning in January, the Free Library will continue its Year of Dickens 2012 with monthly literary salons, each featuring a different Dickens novel. The salons are free and open to all readers, whether it’s your first or 100th time to crack open Oliver Twist . Taking place in the Elkins Room of the Rare Book Department at… continue reading

By Eileen O.    December 29, 2011    1

A vibrant and colorful exhibition at the Parkway Central Library highlights one of the most enduring legacies of Charles Dickens's genius: the unforgettable characters he brought to life. By some estimates there are 989 named characters in his works, with names like Toodle, Tappertit, and Tattycoram; Buzfuz, Bumble, and… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    December 28, 2011    4

Although the weather outside is anything but frightful, there’s definitely a festive feel in the air thanks to Philadelphia’s quaint Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Throughout the month of December, Chestnut Hill is getting into the holiday spirit and partnering with the Free Library’s Year of Dickens . Visitors to… continue reading

By Alix G.    November 30, 2011   

Today marks the opening of the eagerly anticipated Rare Book Department exhibition on the life and work of Charles Dickens. "From the Desk of Charles Dickens: Celebrating the Great Writer at 200" brings together printed works, correspondence, autograph manuscripts, and original drawings, as well as objects… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    November 28, 2011   

We found our Dickens!  Lisa Litman of Bala Cynwyd, Pa. won today's ‘Dickens Idol Contest," our quest to find someone to bring Dickens to life for the Free Library's Year of Dickens 2012 . To win, Litman performed for a panel of judges, all experts in Dickens or the art of personification. As part of… continue reading

By Caitlin G.    November 14, 2011   

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth this coming February, the Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to present the Year of Dickens 2012, featuring special events, literary salons, and many creative ways to celebrate “The Inimitable,” as he liked to call himself.  Although we'll… continue reading

By Alix G.    November 10, 2011    3

In honor of Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday and to celebrate the Free Library’s large Dickens collection, we are bringing Charles Dickens back to life through the first ever, American Idol-inspired, Dickens Idol Contest! The Contest is an open call audition to find an actor who best portrays Charles Dickens. Actors… continue reading

By Eileen O.    October 17, 2011    2