Happy birthday, Dickens! “Be natural my children. For the writer that is natural has fulfilled all the rules of art.” Dickens's Dream." Painted by Robert William Buss in 1875. Donated by the artist's grandson - 1931." On February 7th, 1812 Charles John Huffam Dickens, was born in Landport, England. Raised in the tough working-class conditions, including working at a blacking factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison, Dickens’ experiences have said to influences many of his famous novels. Albumen photograph of Charles Dickens, circa 1860s, seated in an armchair and looking to his left. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birthday, Gerald Charles Dickens—the great-great grandson of Charles—will be attending a Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Charles’ burial site at Westminster Abbey, followed by a grand banquet at The Mansion House, where the Lord Mayor of the City of London resides. Then, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, Gerald has been invited to a special reception being given by none only than The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace! In celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Dickens’s birth, Vaillancourt Folk Art, with the support of Byers’ Choice, will be bringing Gerald Charles Dickens to Massachusetts twice this year! During the first visit Gerald will be retracing the historic steps that Charles took by igniting the stage at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, followed by an intimate performance at Vaillancourt Folk Art (more information to come). In addition to these September performances, Gerald will return to Vaillancourt Folk Art in Novemember to continue the tradition of his one-man performance of A Christmas Carol. Join us in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most cherished author.