Monday, 23 January 2012

Mrs Miniver's Daughter, being a bit of a cheapskate, is always on the lookout for free tickets. But she went wild today and squandered 1p on an afternoon of Dickensian entertainment. Indeed, with almost Pickwickian lavishness, she reached into her purse and pulled out 2p so that she could treat a friend.
No wonder the Penny Reading tickets sold out very fast, because for that we enjoyed AS Byatt (who turned out to be a terrific dramatic reader) reading from Great Expectations; Louis de Bernières reading Little Nell's deathbed scene ... although MrsM'sD is inclined to agree with Oscar Wilde that it would take a heart of stone not to guffaw; and a great-great-great grand-daughter of the man himself reading from A Tale of Two Cities. There was also a very glamorous and funny magician. Dickens used to do conjuring tricks and must have been rather good because he once abracadabra'd a guinea-pig from a bran-tub and pulled a Christmas pudding out of a gentleman's hat. (MrsM'sD would like to take a bow and hopes that you are suitably impressed that she has remembered this snippet of useless literary information.)
Rather a good Sunday afternoon for 1p, don't you think? And as we were allowed to choose a novel to take home, I have great expectations of imminently embarking on Our Mutual Friend.

9 comments:

Sue said...

What a bargain! I'm still ploughing on with Great Expectations, not very fast, but making progress.

mary said...

It would be lovely if the 1p tickets idea caught on, Sue!

Toffeeapple said...

What a wonderful way to have a marvellous day for very little money. I do love being read to, it seems to let my imagination take over even more than reading for myself.

Mac n' Janet said...

Lucky you! I love A.S.Byatt, all that and conjuring too.

mary said...

Dickens is wonderful for reading-aloud, Toffeeapple. And I say that as one who's not normally keen on being read to.
AS Byatt was gripping, Janet ... she did the churchyard scene from Great Expectations.

Vintage Reading said...

Sounds a fabulous day. I must read the Tomalin biography of Dickens.

mary said...

I haven't started it yet either, Nicola. Slightly Dickens-ed out, as also went to the Museum of London exhibition yesterday.
Glad to see you've solved problem you had with comments!

Eggs on the Roof said...

I'm reading Clare Tomalin's biography of Dickens. I was rather touched to discover that his great friend John Forster expressed sorrow at Dickens' decision to grow a beard because he thought the bristles concealed 'the beauty of his mouth'. Very un-Victorian male.

mary said...

Heavens, Charlie - I knew they were good friends but didn't think it was like that. I must get started on the biography, I bought it before Christmas.