Dickens’ Jews

Kings Place, London

In 1854, long before Jews Don’t Count, The Jewish Chronicle
asked of Dickens, why “Jews alone should be excluded from the sympathising heart of this powerful friend of the oppressed.”

Helena Kelly follows her acclaimed Jane Austen: Secret Radical with The Life and Lies of Charles Dickens. She joins us to focus on his relationship with the Jewish community: the relatives whose faith he strived to conceal; the antisemitism on show with Fagin, to positive portrayals in Our Mutual Friend, via examples of both in The Old Curiosity Shop; and the amends he made later in life following his correspondence with Jewish charity campaigner Eliza Davis. In conversation with writer, editor and Head of Programmes at the London Library Claire Berliner

Buy a copy of The Life & Lies of Charles Dickens by Helena Kelly

In Association with The London Library

Speaker biography

Helena Kelly

Helena Kelly is an author of literary biographies including Jane Austen, A Secret Radical and, occasionally, of academic articles. She holds a doctorate in English literature.

Chair biography

Claire Berliner

Claire Berliner is a writer, editor and Head of Programmes at The London Library, where Charles Dickens was a Founder Member and avid book borrower.

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