The Bristol & Clifton Dickens Society was founded on the 4th of April 1902 and is the oldest Dickensian organisation in the world. Membership is open to anyone interested in Charles Dickens and his works. The Society is an autonomous branch of the Dickens Fellowship, and, as a precursor of the Fellowship, is the only branch in the world to be called a Society.
The following pages provide information on our meetings programmes and on how you can become a member of our Society. There is also a lot of information about how we function and how we relate to The Dickens Fellowship, its Fellowships throughout the world and its annual Dickens Conferences.
The Victoria Rooms in Clifton - 1849 showing the sloping ramps used by carriages. "The Vic Rooms" as they are called locally, now Bristol University music department, was in the era of our picture, host to Charles Dickens on his reading tours to Bristol.
"I remember how I thought of all the solitary places under the night sky where I had slept, and how I prayed that I never might be houseless any more, and might never forget the houseless."
David Copperfield Chapter 13
In 1857 Dickens became deeply concerned about conditions at the Muller orphanages in Bristol. He decided to visit them unannounced, but was refused admittance because it was a non-visiting day. Dickens being Dickens, waited it out until he was invited in and allowed to tour the large estate of homes pictured in our heading picture. He was impressed with what he saw and wrote a long piece about the homes and their founder in the November 7th 1857 edition of Household Words (see our Dickens & Bristol page).
We support The Julian Trust, whose ethos in working for the Bristol Homeless, is so close to Dickens‘ concerns for the poor.
About Our Society