Charles Dickens: Life & Legacy
Past display archive
25 October 2011 - 22 April 2012
Room 24 case display
by Herbert Watkins
29 April 1858
Shown alongside Daniel Maclise’s portrait of Charles Dickens as the bright young writer, also on view in room 24, this display marks the bicentenary of the author’s birth in February 1812 and explores his legendary status as the ‘best understood and widely loved writers’ of his time. Comprised of prints, drawings, and photographs, the display charts the key aspects of Dickens’s life, including his family, friends and influential contemporaries, as well as his American encounters during his tours to the country in 1842 and 1867.
Still revered as the ‘most English of story-tellers’, Dickens’s works continue to define our perception of the Victorian age. The display considers his lasting influence with images of the actors who have portrayed his characters over the years, such as Cecil Beaton’s striking view of Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham in David Lean’s Great Expectations of 1946. Certain posthumous drawings by Harry Furniss are also presented to reveal how the famous ‘Boz’ was memorialised by his peers.
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
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Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.
- Charles Dickens (NPG P301(19))
- Charles Dickens (NPG P301(20))
- Charles Dickens (NPG 3566)
- Edgar Allan Poe (NPG x135440)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (NPG x20096)
- Group including Clarkson Stanfield, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Augustus Leopold Egg (NPG x45067)
- Charles Dickens (NPG x131113)
- Charles Dickens (NPG x45498)
- John Lawrence Toole as Serjeant Buzfuz in 'Bardell v. Pickwick' (NPG Ax18165)
- Charles Dickens, his characters and the empty chair (NPG x135439)
- Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham in 'Great Expectations' (NPG x14113)
- John Lee as Alfred Jingle in 'The Pickwickians' (NPG D21565)
- Kate Nickleby (character in Dickens novel 'Nicholas Nickleby') (NPG D38965)
- Charles Dickens (NPG D145)
- Catherine Dickens (née Hogarth) (NPG D35175)