A Queer Dickens Christmas, a talk with discussion by Dr Holly Furneaux and Dr Kim Edwards

Event Date / Time: 17/12/2013 @ 7:00pm

Event Summary: For the final event of this year's LGB&T history programme, The LGF give you two early Christmas presents in the form of Dr Holly Furneaux and Dr Kim Edwards who will join us to share some fascinating insights into the queer world of Charles Dickens!

Venue: The Lesbian & Gay Foundation
Number 5, Richmond Street
M1 3HF

Price per Person: Free

Event Full Details: For the final event of this year's LGB&T history programme, The LGF give you two early Christmas presents in the form of Dr Holly Furneaux and Dr Kim Edwards who will join us to share some fascinating insights into the queer world of Charles Dickens!

Dr Holly Furneaux will explore Dickens's own queer reading, looking at the explicit depictions of same-sex desire he encountered in his favourite books, and the ways he developed these in his writing. In keeping with the season, Furneaux will explore an 1854 Dickens Christmas story (published during the Crimean War) which focuses on the love between two soldiers. The second part of the talk will consider how Dickens readers, from his time to ours, have engaged with the queer content of Dickens's work. Some Victorian readers included Dickens's novels in their queer libraries, and wrote homoerotic endings to his unfinished novel Edwin Drood. Creative responses continued through the modernist period, thriving in the work of Dickens fans like Katherine Mansfield.

Dr Kim Edwards will explore Dickens’s final, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which was one of Dickens’s boldest representations of queer desire between women. She will show how Victorian readers (including Dickens's illustrator) enthusiastically responded to his portrayal of female homoerotic desire, with some producing follow-up writings detailing a continuing passionate intimacy between women.

Today Dickens rewritings are a popular basis for fan and slash fiction, and Dickens's novels inspire queer mashups and cartoons. Both speakers will consider the cultural significance of this phenomena in the UK and US, and end with some festive thoughts about the wide range of queer rewritings of A Christmas Carol including lesbian rewritings of Scrooge and Fred.

This is a FREE event made possible through generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Refreshments will be provide for all attendees.

Please RSVP to history@lgf.org.uk