Explore the idea of Charles Dickens not only as a novelist, but as a Victorian man of science. Exploring his letters, journalism and novels, followed by the chance to handle some of Dickens's magazines and scientific objects first hand.
For 150 years after Dickens's death, he was thought of as a wildly popular and talented writer who lacked the intellect to have been interested in the scientific developments of his age. But from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to the development of anaesthetics, telegraphs, and séances, mid-Victorian readers were as enthralled by science as they were by the latest Dickens novel. And Dickens often played a direct role in publicising scientific knowledge. This talk unpacks some key moments in Dickens's own writing, revealing the layers of scientific knowledge, expertise and excitement that underpin them - and begins to think about why his scientific interests have not always been taken seriously.
To accompany our special exhibition Charles Dickens: Man of Science and in partnership with the Bloomsbury Festival.