Curly Locks and Global Fame: Dickens the International Celebrity


Dickens quickly became an international celebrity, drawing huge American crowds during his visit to the country in the early 1840s. In this video Professor John explains how his hair became the focus of his global fame – the subject of criticism and admiration – and how Dickens fell out of love with America.

This video is the first in a series of three videos celebrating our special exhibition, Global Dickens: For Every Nation Upon Earth. The second can be found here.

Professor Juliet John is Head of the School of Humanities and Hildred Carlile Chair of English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her work has focused predominantly on the relationship between Dickens's work and the popular cultural contexts of the Victorian and post-Victorian periods and her books include 'Dickens and Mass Culture' (Oxford University Press 2010), and 'Dickens and Modernity' (English Association, 2012). Her article on ‘Dickens’s Global Art’ (E-rea, 13.2 (2016) was formative in the co-curation of the Global Dickens exhibition.

Write a response

Please note: responses are reviewed before they are published.

Museum Blog

This blog takes you behind the scenes at the Charles Dickens Museum, giving fresh insight on everything from discoveries new and old in our collection, to exhibitions, events and learning initiatives.

You’ll be hearing from a variety of Museum staff and volunteers as well as guest curators, academics, artists and even members of the public who want to share their experiences at the Museum. If you would like to get in touch about guest blogging or have any questions relating to the blog please email

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your basket