Dickens expert to give free public lecture in Aberdeen

One of the world’s foremost experts on Charles Dickens will present a free public lecture in Aberdeen.

Professor Michael Slater, who has written extensively on the life and work Dickens, will speak at the University of Aberdeen on Thursday November 8.

Professor Slater, emeritus professor from Birkbeck College, University of London, is author of Dickens and Women, The Genius of Dickens, Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing, and most recently, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal.

He is a former editor of the Dickensian, past chairman of the board of trustees of the Charles Dickens Museum in London, past president of the international Dickens Fellowship, past president of the Dickens Society of America, and founder of the annual Dickens Day at Birkbeck College.

Slater will explore the challenges of writing the biography of the brilliant, enigmatic and troubled novelist in the lecture at the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

The event is the final instalment in a season of Dickens events organised by the University of Aberdeen and the recently established Aberdeen branch of the Dickens Fellowship to celebrate the bicentenary of the author’s birth. Other events have seen Miriam Margoyles perform her one-woman show of female Dickens characters and the broadcaster James Naughtie return to the University to discuss the relevance of Dickens' fiction and journalism to the modern political scene.

Professor Paul Schlicke, Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Language and Literature and chairman of the Aberdeen Dickens Fellowship said: “Professor Michael Slater is the world’s foremost living authority on Dickens and has written what is by far the best modern biography of Dickens.

“He is an excellent speaker and we are privileged to have him visit us in Aberdeen.”

The lecture ‘An attempt on the life of Charles Dickens’, is at 7pm on Thursday November 8 in Seminar Room 224, Floor 2, of the Sir Duncan Rice Library, Bedford Road.

Entry is free but booking is advisable at www.abdnalumni.org/michaelslater or by emailing joanna.wallace@abdn.ac.uk

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will also play host to the final meeting of the Aberdeen branch of the Dickens Fellowship for the calendar year, at 7pm on Thursday 6 December, where there will be an exhibition of the Dickens treasures held in the University of Aberdeen library.

The collection is one of the best in the world, including first editions of all of Dickens’s novels, copies of his periodicals, and a wide range of supporting documents. For more information contact p.schlicke@abdn.ac.uk or 07864945213.