Shakespeare Birthday Lecture XI: DickensDate: 28th June (19:00)Price: £10.66 Duration: 1 hour
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Virtual tour: Charles Dickens was both thrilled and petrified by the experience of watching Shakespeare's Henry V as a small boy. The sword-fighters backed up against the box he was sitting in; he saw the sweat and felt their panting breath. His determination to be an actor was thwarted early on (he had a cold on the day of the audition) and he turned to novel-writing but he always tried to capture a sense of the dramatic in his books. In the 1830s, he was first to insist on going back to the original Shakespearean texts which had been neglected and he led the campaign to keep Shakespeare's birthplace in this country when PT Barnum, the American circus owner, bit to take it to the States. His relationship with Shakespeare's Southwark began when he was a boy and his father was imprisoned in the Marshalsea Jail. He rang the bells at St Saviour's and he has a throne-like pew in Southwark Cathedral.