The Sparkler - A Virtual Talk

Saturday 22nd June at 1pm (UK time). 

This event takes place on zoom. You will receive your link 1 hour before the talk begins. 

This event is free to attend, or you can choose to make a donation. 

Click here to book an online ticket. 

Entry to the historic house is not included with this ticket. 

Should you have any difficulties or questions, please email the Events team on

Alan will also be onsite from 2pm to give a talk on 'The Sparkler.' If you'd like to reserve an onsite seat, click here.


“A dark hymn to pre-Victorian London in all its grotty glory.” – Nick Perry


Charles Dickens was a restless shadow, stepping out into the London streets and drawing inspiration from all he saw. His success came quickly in the 1830s, changing Dickens’s life from being a relatively humble journalist to one of the most acclaimed writers in the English language. But did that fame come at a cost?

Join Alan Humm virtually as he discusses his debut novel, ‘The Sparkler.’ Set in the early days of Dickens’s career, this highly fictionalised reimagining focuses on the darker side of humanity, as it draws out the complexities and temptations that develop with fame and fortune.

Alan will be joined by Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, author of ‘Becoming Dickens’ and ‘The Turning Point,’ and together they will explore the literary impact of Dickens, the context and themes of Alan’s new debut, and why Dickens still holds the power to fire our imaginations.

Praise for ‘The Sparkler.’

“…absolutely terrific – thoroughly steeped in Dickens’s own idioms while also taking a step back and coolly assessing them from a distance.” – Robert Douglas-Fairhurst.

“… a remarkable Dickens-fi debut.” – Philip Hoare.


Saturday 22nd June at 1pm (UK time).

Click here to book your ticket. This talk takes place over Zoom. Your ticket will be sent an hour before the session begins.

If you are in London, Alan will also be giving an onsite talk at 2pm. Click here to save a seat!


Saturday 22nd June at 1pm - An Author's Talk

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