Montreal Dickens Fellowship
for the best of times

Finnegan’s Market - Saturday, October 21, 2017


We will be having a Dickens Treasure Hunt at Finnegan’s market followed by lunch at the newly re-opened Willow Inn, next Saturday, Oct. 21. We will be meeting at Finnegan’s Market in Hudson just at the entrance ( i.e. the beginning of the antique stalls; a short walk from the far parking lot) at 11:00 A.M. We will divide into small teams and separate to search for Dickensiana (dishes, brasses, books, etc…) We will meet for lunch at 1:30 P.M. at the Willow’s Inn. We should be home by 4:00 P.M.

If you are interested in joining us, please let me know.  

Sylvia Rabinovitch (  still has room for 5-6  more people in her van and can pick them up at a central location. Please contact me (or her) to arrange where and when to be picked up. If you are driving there on your own and/or if you can take someone let me know. I need to let the Willow Inn  know how many we are expecting.

P.S. In case of rain we may have to cancel. We will keep a close eye on the weather!

Bloomsday - Events from June 10 to June 16

Bloomsday celebrates Thursday, June 16, 1904, the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.  Famous for its innovative style, stream of consciousness technique and extremely frank, very amusing, and often controversial language, Ulysses takes us through a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, an Irish Jew.

To find out more about the festival events, click on the link to read the Festival Bloomsday Montreal brochure.

Montreal Dickens Fellowship meeting May 2, 2017 - Guest speaker - Julius Grey

Our guest speaker, Julius Grey, gave a very passionate and personal account of how Dickens’s novel “David Copperfield” played an enormous role in his struggle to “fit in” and succeed after emigrating from Poland as a young boy. Indeed, M. Grey went on to describe how, throughout his life, his political and social views were often strongly influenced by Dickens’s writing. We all were impressed by his tremendous familiarity with all of Dickens’s works and by his vast knowledge of literature in general. Guests particularly enjoyed his engaging demeanour and the candour with which he shared  his personal reflections.

After an interesting discussion about good and evil in “Barnaby Rudge” as it related to M. Grey’s remarks, we presented our guest with a copy of “Charles Dickens and the Law” by Thomas A. Fyfe.

Many thanks to Julius Grey for his interesting perspective on Dickens’s works and very thought-provoking talk!

Montreal Dickens Fellowship meeting May 2, 2017  1 p.m. - Westmount Library

Julius Grey will be discussing the contrast between Dickens’s personal optimism and political pessimism and the 3 novels which will be the basis of his theory that Dickens was relatively pessimistic about the world by the end of his life.  The 3 novels are David Copperfield, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.  He will argue contrary to most critics that the second “good ending” of Great Expectations is in fact the appropriate one reflecting Dickens’s outlook.

Condolences to Pollack and Waxman families

The Montreal Dickens Fellowship is very sorry to note the passing of former member Gladys Pollack. She was a lovely lady who will be sadly missed. Her intelligence and thoughtful contributions were much appreciated. She really was a kindred spirit. Our condolences have been sent to her family.

Condolences also to member Susan Waxman on the loss of her mother Shirley Waxman. May the family know no further sorrow.

April 4, 2017 - 1:00 to 3:00 - meeting at Burgundy Lion Pub

Inspired by our discussion of the Maypole Inn of “Barnaby Rudge”, pubs and alcohol consumption in the Victorian era, I have organized a very fun meeting at the “Burgundy Lion”, a traditional English Pub.

Judith Elson will be discussing the history of Gin!

Victorian cocktails will be available! Please join us!

The pub is on Notre Dame within walking distance of the Lionel Groulx Metro. 

If you need a ride please let me know.

Dr. Joe Schwarcz  “Science in the Victorian Era” -  Summary

On Tuesday, March 7, “Dr. Joe” gave an amazing Power Point presentation on Science in the Victorian Era.  His talk was highly entertaining and very informative, mingling science, history and magic (he even performed mystifying magic tricks!)  Most impressive was the way he put a definite “Dickensian” twist to his material.  Member Lynn Morgan took copious notes throughout his presentation and has kindly summarized them for us!  Follow the link to read her very thorough summary of Dr. Joe’s talk on “Science in the Victorian Era”.  Thank you so much Lynn for all your efforts!!

Dr. Joe Schwarcz “Science in the Victorian Era” - March 7, 2017 - 1:00 p.m.


Dr. Schwarcz will be giving a talk about science in the Victorian Era.  The Victorian era (1837-1901) was rich in scientific discoveries ranging from John Snow’s linking cholera with contaminated water and Edison’s invention of the phonograph to vulcanized rubber and Perkin’s discovery of synthetic dyes.

Dr. Joe’s popularity as a prolific author and entertaining public speaker, coupled with his passion for understanding the world and dedication to helping society (indeed even his love of magic!) cannot help but remind us of Charles Dickens!!

Hope you will be able to attend what will surely be a highly entertaining and informative meeting!

Please note the venue has been changed to the Prud'homme Room at Victoria Hall, immediately adjacent to the Westmount Public Library (west side).

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