Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Dickens; Nonesuch Dickens Giveaway

In his final essay for Vanity Fair, the late Christopher Hitchens wrote of Charles Dickens, “He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it.”

Timely words, as today marks the long awaited Dickens bicentenary. If Dickens did indeed relish an extravagant birthday soirée, there’s no doubt he would be pleased with the hoopla surrounding today’s anniversary festivities. Throughout the world’s libraries, museums, and bookstores, readers far and wide are celebrating the life and work of one of history’s most beloved novelists. In New York the Morgan Library & Museum is offering free admission to their ongoing Charles Dickens at 200 exhibition, featuring a collection of Dickens’ original letters and manuscripts, while Philadelphia's Free Library continues to exhibit their “Year of Dickens” rare book collection. In the author’s home country, the British Council is hosting a global twenty four hour read-a-thon, comprised of five minute excerpts read from different Dickens texts from countries including China, Pakistan, Albania, and Russia, while over at TIME.com Radhika Jones has been counting down Dickens’ top ten greatest novels (spoiler alert: Bleak House takes the cake). Dickens devotees can test their knowledge of his life and work with quizzes hosted by The Huffington Post and USA Today, and for even more ideas Popcandy has a great list of eleven ways to celebrate, including a video tour of Dickens’ native city and a link to ten little known facts about the author.

On the occasion of Dickens’s 200th birthday, Hitchens delivered this gift to his readers: “You can forget that sense of guilt you have. The one about being not quite sure which character is from which book. None of us really knows, and there is no shame in it. Probably Dickens himself wasn’t certain much of the time.”

While Hitchens’ generosity is well appreciated, we’d like to offer something a little more tangible as a way to commemorate Dickens at two hundred—the eagerly awaited new additions to the Nonesuch Dickens collection: The Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, and Our Mutual Friend. Packaged in a three-volume leather and cloth bound cased set, these contemporary versions of Dickens’ classic work are based on the historic Chapman and Hall editions of 1867 that were personally supervised by Dickens himself. Available for the first time in decades, the Nonesuch editions contain full-color illustrations selected by the author and we are delighted to be giving away a complete set of all three books to one lucky winner.

To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post, tweet to @OverlookPress using the #Dickens2012 hashtag, or comment on our facebook page. Contestants can enter once in each category until 9am tomorrow morning, at which point we will announce a randomly selected winner. Please leave an email address when entering so we can contact you if you’ve been selected. Good luck!

15 comments:

Stevie Godson said...

A happy day for word nerds worldwide.

Carl said...

Three volumes of Dickens could be enough to take me through the rest of this winter. Please enter my name for a chance to win. Thanks!

Matthew Josiah Miller said...

I heart Dickens.

Poof...books! said...

Renewed our interest in Dicken with Jane Smiley's wonderful literary biography. While in NY for the holidays we stumbled upon the magnificent Morgan Library exhibit.

Thus, we decided to revisit the Dickens classics this year in honor of the 200th year. So winning this beautiful editions would be just perfect.

Thank you for hosting this post and giveaway.

Chris said...

Brother, can you spare a gorgeous Dickens set?

Unknown said...

I saw Marley's ghost and it scared the Dickens out of me!!!

Anonymous said...

As I walked through Lincoln's Inn Fields tonight, London was cold and overcast by evening's light, and I thought of Charles Dickens and his 200th birthday. I had just come from seeing a lawyer for the indigent, of which I seem to have become one. She told me that the case I had been putting together for five years, regarding losing my teaching position after being harassed by a line manager, was too late to file. I walked back to the street where I could get a bus home and wondered if there was any justice in the world, and if there was, did it only work for the rich and privileged. I had a hopeless feeling as I began to run for my bus. A young street kid, tall and smiling, stepped off the rear of the bus as its front doors closed. He saw me running for the bus, in my stiff-legged 65-year-old gait, and he ran to the front door, catching the driver's attention, who opened the doors again. The street kid, handsome and young, gave me the thumbs up. I gave him the thumbs up back. There are still random acts of kindness in London, and I think Dickens would appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

PS: I just posted the long post above under anonymous, and my email is stephensmg@hotmail.com

Doug Bolden said...

I was just coming to look and see if there were to be any new volumes of the Nonesuch Dickens coming out. And now I know. Woohey!

Email is a gmail.com account with the username of wyrmisweb

I know that won't stop many spambots, but maybe it will buy me time. heh.

Barbara said...

My aunt was a genuine Dickensian fan, and instilled her love of his work to all her family. I would love to win these!

bbeell (at) windstream (dot) net

Grace said...

I would love to win!

traveler said...

A wonderful treasure. Many thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I have been reading and appreciating Dicken's writing for many years. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Julie said...

The name Charles Dickens makes me salivate like Pavlov's dog. But not in a creepy way.
Julieintheskywithdiamonds(at)verizon(dot)net

robertdl8 said...

Happy birthday to our dear Boz. I'm re-reading David Copperfield. In it Dickens writes "My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; that in great aims and small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest." (Chapter 42) Dickens lived by this credo and we are all the better for it.