Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 6 February 2012

Charles Dickens 200th Birthday 7th February 2012

Tuesday 7th February is Dickens's 200th birthday!

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has a special link with Dickens - he gave an inaugural speech here, when we were starting out as The Glasgow Athenaeum.  Here's how it begins - contact our new Archives Officer, Stuart Harris-Logan, if you'd like to find out more:-
Let me begin by endeavouring to convey to you the assurance that not even the warmth of your reception can possibly exceed, in simple earnestness, the cordiality of the feeling with which I come amongst you. This beautiful scene and your generous greeting would naturally awaken, under any circumstances, no common feeling within me; but when I connect them with the high purpose of this brilliant assembly when I regard it as an educational example and encouragement to the rest of Scotland when I regard it no less as a recognition on the part of everybody here of the right, indisputable and inalienable, of all those who are actively engaged in the work and business of life to elevate and improve themselves so far as in them lies, by all good means I feel as if I stand here to swear brotherhood to all the young men in Glasgow; and I may say to all the young women in Glasgow; being unfortunately in no position to take any tenderer vows upon myself and as if we were pledged from this time henceforth to make common cause together in one of the most laudable and worthy of human objects.

The address was given in the City Halls on the evening of 28 December 1847.  Here is a link to a coloured drawing of the event penned by William Simpson, which is now held by Glasgow Museums.

Search the Whittaker Library for materials about/by Charles Dickens: here.

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