Thursday, 27 November 2014

Charles Dickens by Ian Porter

November Monthly Meeting
Tuesday 25th November 2014
Charles Dickens
by Ian Porter

We are going from strength to strength. At our November Monthly Meeting we found ourselves with a packed hall with almost every chair taken up. We were welcomed by our Chairman, Molly Ward who introduced us to Ian Porter who kept us entertained for well over an hour about the life of Charles Dickens.

The first half of the talk was about Young Dickens before he became famous - his life as a boy in Chatham and London, his silly father, his first jobs, how the budding actor became a
writer, his first love and how all these things were later recreated in his stories. 

Then we heard about how he was discovered and became famous, and how he became a great public speaker. Ian took us on an 'armchair walk' around London, telling us of things still there today which Dickens used in his novels. Ian is a London Walks' Guide and does over 40 different walks and has a wealth of knowledge about Dickensian History.

One thing is for sure is that he knows how to entertain and keep everyone focussed and interested on the topic. Without the aid of photographs or projector, he wove a mental picture of the great man which helped us to bring to life all of the stories he told.

Ian has written two novels, the second of which "Suffragette Autumn, Women's Spring", he described to us and was on sale at a bargain price at the meeting.The story begins in spectacular, if shocking fashion, aboard the Titanic as it's sinking. An important scene, which Ruby later realises was the genesis of her becoming a Suffragette, takes place in a lifeboat. Ruby and Nashey are left traumatised and horrified not just by the disaster itself, but by the failures of the ship's officers. Ruby is also profoundly affected by the misplaced trust in, and subservience to, these men. Readers are then taken to New York, and on to Halifax, Nova Scotia, before the novel unfolds in Suffragette London, 1912-1914. Much of the story takes place within the militant struggle for Votes for Women, into which both main characters become drawn through different avenues.

The book is available on Amazon and has readers' reviews of five stars.

Just two little bits of information for those who were not able to attend the meeting. We have
purchased a notice board which will be at every meeting and will have the latest information about groups and any events which may be taking place as well as some reports on recent visits. So, you'll have something to read whilst you're waiting for your refreshments. We really are keen that you will be kept well informed and that the U3A will continue to develop.

In line with this, we are now on Twitter. For many, the response is "What's that?" but in actual fact almost 60 of our members have a Twitter account but no so many of them use it. So now is your chance to sign up or put your unused account into good use. 

We will Tweet whenever a significant update is written on the website or there are important events taking place to remind you. All you have to do is sign up, find @edenbridge u3a and click on the "FOLLOW" button and every time you log on you will be able to read what is going on with links to the relevant pages. If all this is gobbledygook to you, we'll give a more detailed explanation on the website in the coming weeks. 


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