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Summer reading: Two Victorian celebrations

Charles Dickens 2012 – Two Hundred Years old

The Dickens Fellowship celebrates the life of Charles Dickens

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens 1812-1912

Charles Dickens, had he lived, would be 200 years old this year. Yes, Dickens 2012 is a year-long birthday celebration of Dickens, his life and works. So it’s only fitting that I incorporate reading Dickens into my reading plans this year and particularly for the next two months. Allie from the blog A Literary Odyssey is hosting the second event. A Victorian Celebration is a 2-month virtual reading event that begins now. It’s simple enough: focus on reading Victorian era writers during June and July. Read one, two, five or ten. It’s up to you.

My book choices for A Victorian Celebration summer reading challenge

For this challenge books published during Britain’s Queen Victoria’s reign (1837 – 1901) count. Since I already have quite a few Victorian writers on my Classics Club list, I’m going to pull from that.


  1. Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. The Woman in White by Wilke Collins
  3. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by the birthday boy Charles Dickens
  4. The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition by Oscar Wilde
  5. Through the Looking-Glass – Original Version by Lewis Carroll

Alternate or bonus books by Charles Dickens:

  1. The Pickwick Papers (Vintage Classics)
  2. The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby (Annotated)

What you can do to celebrate Charles Dickens and Victorian writers

Charles Dickens performing his last reading

Charles Dickens's Last Reading

Writers, the number of your fellow writers who love Charles Dickens is huge. The man has inspired many. If you’re a writer and haven’t read Dickens, you might want to see what all the fuss is about. I’d love to hear what you think.

Readers, the fans of Dickens and of other writers from the Victorian era are legion. Why not spend a few hours lost in Victorian times and stories? When you’re finished, blog or share your reading experience, post reviews on Amazon, GoodReads or other book spots, and share the books with your friends online and in person.

Bloggers, join me over at A Literary Odyssey. Sign up, select your books, read, and write about the books, the author, the reading experience. Let’s have a Victorian summer.

Now tell me in a comment below, what’s your pleasure?



Enjoy these posts

  • Cat

    Great list and I hope you enjoy your Victorian reading. I thought it was the ideal time to celebrate Dickens birthday too – reading Our Mutual Friend.

  • Vikk Simmons

    Hey Cat, thanks for stopping by. I’m positive I’ll enjoy this Victorian excursion and am really looking forward to the Dickens books. I haven’t read Our Mutual Friend. I’ll be sure and look for your review. 

  • Roof Beam Reader


    Oh, what a great list!  The Picture of Dorian Gray is
    one of my all-time favorites.  The Mystery of Edwin Drood is great (wonder
    if it would be so good if it had been finished?) and The Woman in White is
    fantastic!  I’ve never heard of that Stephenson work.. look forward to
    hearing about it!

  • Vikk Simmons

    I found the Stevenson book on our bookshelf and thought I’d give it a try. I sort of remember a bit but if I did read it all it was when I was very young. I also just caught the misspelling of his last name. I guess the auto speller did me in and I didn’t realize it. I am really looking forward to all these reads.