Dickens Conference in Carrara

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens

The Carrara branch of the Dickens Fellowship will host an international conference open to public titled Dickens, Art and Landscape from July 19 – 24.

Many Dickens specialists will be attending: scholars and academicians, Dickensians from the English-speaking world and from Italian universities, who will investigate the way Dickens and his contemporaries perceived Italy, its culture, history and people. It will be an event aimed at encouraging and enhancing a dialogue between cultures, strongly supported by Tuscan Region, Carrara, The Regional Education Department, Ministry of  Education, University of  Pisa, University of  Milan, University of Genoa and the Keats and Shelly House, AIA, ANDA and The International Dickens Fellowship.

An exhibition illustrating all the towns that Dickens spent time in during his Tuscan travels in 1845 has just been inaugurated in Carrara, and will run concurrently with the conference.  To see a video of the show, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.

The Carrara branch of the Dickens Fellowship was founded thanks to the effort of Marzia Dati and a group of  Dickens’s enthusiasts  in remembrance of Dickens’s stay in Carrara. Dickens was astonished by the breathtaking view of the white marble quarries, which he describes in Pictures from Italy and in the many letters to his friend John Forster. Dickens recorded the precariousness of their lives, something which is still true today.

A mecca for sculptors, artists, writers and intellectuals, Carrara has always been linked to the world of art.

English writers and poets have always been attracted by Italy as a country marked by a wealth of art and culture, with many sites testifying to past grandeur. Pisa, Florence, Lucca and Siena, in particular, hosted the most outstanding literary personalities in English literature in the late eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries and many of them also stayed in Carrara including John Ruskin, Robert Browning and Aldous Huxley. The most famous English visitor, however, who arrived in Carrara was Charles Dickens.

The Carrara Fellowship branch, officially recognized by the London head office, has 50 members and promotes the reading of Dickens’s works, as well as the study in a broader context of English language and literature, via conferences and meetings.  Meetings take place at the Fellowship Center in the historical center of the town.

Info and conference program on www.dickenscarrara.it.