Santa Fe College proudly welcomes Lucinda Hawksley, British author, lecturer and direct descendant of legendary author Charles Dickens to Gainesville. The event, Charles Dickens: The Man Behind the Novels, will be held Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Fine Arts Hall, located on the College’s Northwest Campus at 3000 NW 83rd St. in Gainesville, at 7 p.m.
A special student lecture is at 12:30 p.m. in S-building, room 29-30. The public lecture is at 7 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.
Hawksley’s lecture will feature her book “Charles Dickens,” written in observance of Dickens’ 200th birthday in 2012. Dickens, who wrote legendary stories such as “A Tale of Two Cities”, “Oliver Twist” and “A Christmas Carol”, is widely considered one the greatest writers of the Victorian era (from 1837-1901), which coincided with the reign of its namesake Queen Victoria, and he remains one of Britain’s enduring and beloved celebrities.
“It is always a joy to talk about Dickens in America, as he is so popular in the US, and I love the way in which people still respond to him. I am also very happy to be bringing into the limelight some of the 19th-century’s unfairly forgotten female artists,” said Hawksley.
Hawksley said the book is good for all ages, as it has several pages that turn into envelopes, out of which you can take artifacts about Dickens’s life and work, which is popular with everyone from grandparents to grandchildren.
During her visit, Hawksley will also hold a composite lecture for visual art students to discuss female Victorian artists – from Lizzie Siddal and Kate Perugini (daughter of Charles Dickens) to Princess Louise (daughter of Queen Victoria) – to show how from model to artist women changed the Victorian art world.
Hawksley goals for the talks are simple, “I hope that people will leave the art talk understanding more not only about the art and artists themselves, but about what it was like to be a woman in the 19th century. I hope they will leave the Charles Dickens talk knowing much more about Dickens that they did beforehand, and realizing all the fascinating different facets there were to his life, work and personality.”
Professor Susan Miller, chair of Santa Fe’s English department said students would really benefit from learning about the relationship between Dickens and his illustrators our creative writing and visual arts students. “We have many, many students and fans who would also love to hear about the role of women artists in the late Victorian world,” said Professor Miller.
Of herself, Hawksley, who for the last decade has been a patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London, said she grew up with an interest in her family history. She cites the history of London and literature and art from the 19th and early 20th centuries among other interests.
In addition to her writing and holding lectures, Hawksley is an award-winning travel writer with a love of the environment. Cetaceans, the group of marine mammals represented by dolphins, porpoises and whales, are her favorites.
Hawksley hopes the audience will have fun and also feel free to ask questions. “I am passionate about history, literature and art … and I would love to think that students (and other attendees) will leave my talks with a desire to discover even more about the subjects.”
Hawksley’s lecture is presented by Santa Fe College Cultural Programs and sponsored in part by the Santa Fe College Foundation and the College’s English Department. For more information on the lecture or partnering with Santa Fe’s Fine Arts and Cultural programs call Cultural Programs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman at 352-395-5355 or English Department Chairperson Susan Miller at 352-395-5026.