For the first time ever in the United States, the watercolor “Dickens’s Dream” will be on display during this year’s 36th Annual Dickens on The Strand festival, held the first weekend in December on historic Galveston Island.
The artwork shows Victorian author Charles Dickens dozing, surrounded by dozens of the unforgettable characters he created in his writings that made him famous. On loan from the Charles Dickens Museum in London, England, the painting will be accompanied by the court uniform that Dickens wore when he was received by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace in March 1870, just three months before he died.
The Charles Dickens Museum is the world’s most important collection of material relating to the great Victorian novelist and social commentator. The painting, clothing and other artifacts from the London Dickens museum will be on display Dec. 5 and 6, during the Dickens on the Strand festival, presented by the Galveston Historical Foundation.
“The painting was started by Robert William Buss after Dickens died but Buss did not live to finish it,” said Clay Wade, Director of Events for Galveston Historical Foundation. “It is a wonderful watercolor that is one of the most popular items in the Dickens Museum in London.”
The painting and other artifacts will be on display at the Dickens Emporium, 2215 Strand Street, in the Old Galveston Square Building.
People who visit the Dickens Emporium also will be able to purchase official Dickens on The Strand souvenir items, as well as copies of Charles Dickens’ literary works. Galveston has been honored by visits of Dickens descendants in years past and this year is no different. Lucinda Hawksley, the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens will be available during the festival to sign copies of her ancestor’s works at the Dickens Emporium and other special events.
Also at the Dickens Emporium, festival organizers are planning to have a photographer on hand who, for an additional charge, will take pictures of Dickens fans with the famed painting of Dickens in the background, Wade said.
Well known among Dickens fans in England, and around the world, the international award winning event on Strand has become one of the nation’s premier holiday extravaganzas.
Dickens on the Strand was first held in 1974. Over the years, it has become Galveston Historical Foundation’s single largest fundraiser.
For more information about Dickens on The Strand, to purchase tickets online, or to sign up as a festival volunteer, go to www.galvestonhistory.org. For group tours, call 409-765-7834.