Syllabus of Meetings 2018

Members of the Melbourne Dickens Fellowship hold regular meetings at The Faichney Room

Toorak Uniting Church, 603 Toorak Rd, Toorak, Victoria starting 7:30pm for 7:45pm
We welcome visitors. Please just come along & announce yourself. (Map)

If you have any questions or are interested in joining, please CONTACT US


Event / Presentation

February 9th Birthday Dinner
March 21st Introduction to Little Dorrit: Elisabeth Neales
Little Dorrit is our book of the year. Elisabeth Neales will outline the plot and introduce the main characters. Short readings by members of the Fellowship will remind those who have not read the novel recently and introduce it to those who have never read it.
April 18th Prisons: Nita Jawary
The talk examines prisons in their various manifestations in the world of Little Dorrit. While centred on The Marshalsea Prison, Little Dorrit winds its threads around characters imprisoned in many ways: psychologically, emotionally, socially, physically, economically and spiritually.
May 16th Miss Wade: Alan Dilnot
Why was Dickens so determined to give Miss Wade her own narrative, despite having to force it into the book? She is one of Dickens’s first person narrators and Dr Alan Dilnot will compare Miss Wade’s story and upbringing with those of Arthur Clennam and Little Dorrit. He will also investigate the question of her sexuality. Finally, does Dickens condemn Miss Wade?
June 20th Fathers and Daughters: Patricia Wiltshire
Variations on a theme of Fathers and Daughters in Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens orchestrated by Patricia Wiltshire.
July 18th The President’s Night: Dennis Marriott
A look at the many London residences Dickens lived in and the inspiration they gave his work.
August 15th Venice in Shakespeare, Jonson and Dickens: Alan Dilnot
Renaissance Venice appealed to the English imagination. A sea-borne empire with special links to the Orient; it was Catholic, but virtually independent from Rome; it was a republic governed by a merchant oligarchy electing its Duke; above all it was a centre for trade, rich enough to support a high culture. In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, monetary values are referenced constantly. In Othello, humans are often assessed in commercial terms. In Ben Jonson’s Volpone, money motivates almost every Venetian. Money is power and Venice had power because of money. In nineteenth-century Venice, a shadow of its former glory, the characters of Little Dorrit Venice are mainly English — Londoners, and the native Venetians are supplementary. Venice, now atmospheric and dreamlike is a suitable background for the intrigues and materialism of the English tourists.
September 19th Annual General Meeting
Some aspects of London when Dickens was just 21 years old: Trevor Morton
The third decade of the 19th century was an exciting time of change with the advances in science, engineering and the growing importance of London as a great city. It was an equally important time for Dickens himself and this talk seeks to describe some aspects of London at that time as if the listeners were walking with Dickens.
October 17th Dickens and Horses: Andrew Gemmell
Dickens wrote about a variety of horses, including the iron horse and the occasional donkey. Horses seem to have inspired Dickens to some of his best (and funniest) writing. Come and hear these carefully selected extracts, performed by some of our most experienced readers. Note: this will be an AV-free zone
November 21st Mind the movement: Veronica Delafosse
This will describe cognition and motor disorders like dementia and Tourette Syndrome with reference to characters from Little Dorrit. In some cases Dickens described the symptoms of conditions science had yet to identify.
December 12th Christmas Party
Traditional readings, music, presents, raffle and supper.