Charles Dickens Museum to study Wilkie Collins’s Moonstone

Later this year, the Charles Dickens Museum will broaden its reach, with an exhibition about Wilkie Collins, author of The Moonstone, amongst others.

He won’t be alone though, as Wilkie Collins had a famously close friendship with Charles Dickens, who was an early supporter of his writings, and the exhibition will trace the shared work, travels, confidences and, above all, the bond of friendship between two men.

From the moment they met in 1851, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins began to work together, beginning a friendship that would continue until Dickens’s death in 1870. While Dickens had already found international fame, Collins was early in his career, but they came together as fellow actors, performing in a mutual friend’s play.

The exhibition, which marks the bicentenary of the birth of Wilkie Collins, will explore the huge body of work their friendship produced, from jointly written articles to novellas and plays, such as The Frozen Deep (1856), and a five-part article The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices (1857). The latter was based on a walking tour in Cumberland in which the pair ended up lost up a mountain before ditching their guide and attempting a descent, during which Collins slid down into a river and injured his leg.

The exhibition will also examine the suggestion that it was Wilkie Collins who completed Dickens’s final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the reasons for this.

Along the way, a combination of original letters, objects and new displays will present the adventures of Dickens and Collins, including moustache growing contests!

The exhibition, Mutual Friends: The Adventures of Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins runs from 15th November 2023 to 25th February 2024 – and will tie in with the museum’s annual Christmas make-over.

Tickets can be booked in advance from here, or you can usually turn up on the day, except for close to Christmas, when pre-booking is highly recommended as they tend to be rather busy.

This article was published on ianVisits


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