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Philadelphia Free Library Celebrates ‘A Year Of Dickens’

(Credit: www.freelibrary.org)

By Chelsea Karnash

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…and in 2012, it’s time to celebrate the 200th birthday of the dude who wrote that iconic line, Charles Dickens.

The Philadelphia Free Library will be hosting a full year’s worth of Dickensian delights, starting this December with “A Dickens of a Christmas” in Chestnut Hill. For the entire month, the adorable Philadelphia neighborhood will morph into an even more adorable Victorian village—straight out of one of Dickens’ novels, and complete with Dickens-themed activities, extended store hours and special Dickens performances.

Aside from the Chestnut Hill celebration, the Free Library’s “Year of Dickens” also includes a “Dickens in Philadelphia” tour, monthly literary salons on Dickens’ novels, a multi-bar “Drinking with Dickens” pub crawl and several other events that will appeal to scholars, nerds and fans of the Bill Murray-version of A Christmas Carol alike.

And if you’re feeling like the connection between Dickens and Philadelphia is nothing but a humbug (couldn’t resist!), consider this: The Free Library has one of the largest collections of all-things-Dickens outside of Britain, including 2,000-plus of his letters, his writing desk and his pet raven, Grip—which is, admittedly, a bit creepy.

More events are being planned for the “Year of Dickens,” so keep checking the Free Library’s website for updates.

Think you’re the spitting image of the literary great and want to prove it? Click here for more information on the Dickens Idol Contest.