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rochdickensOn Friday 7th February – Charles Dickens’ 202nd birthday – members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship attended the first local evening screening of the film “The Invisible Woman”. The film is currently being shown at the Odeon Cinema in Dickens World Leisure Complex, Chatham. The film is based on the book by Claire Tomalin telling the life story of Ellen (Nelly) Turnan. The controversy from a Dickensian scholar’s point of view is a tantalising question: did Charles Dickens have a platonic relationship with the young actress or a love affair? There is also controversy over his separation from his wife, the mother of his ten children – and indeed whether Ellen Turnan had a child by Charles Dickens (or even more than one!). I am sure that Dickens scholars will continue arguing over this for years to come.

Whatever the truth about Ellen Turnan and Charles Dickens, members enjoyed the film and found it well acted and produced. There is local interest in the film: Chatham and Rochester get a mention and part of the story relates to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham. A lesser-known fact is that Ellen (Nelly) Turnan was born on March 3rd 1839 in Maidstone Road, Rochester and baptised later that month in St Nicholas’ Church.

lady of the helm Matthew Munro, from Chattenden, has been writing books since he was 13 and has now seen his first book published through the wonders of the internet. In its first week of publication “Lady of the Helm” – written under the pseudonym T.O.Munro – has had nearly 300 copies downloaded to kindle devices as far afield as Japan, India and France.

In writing the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy, Matthew was greatly helped by his daughter Tess, aged 12, for whom the reading of the latest instalment became a night-time ritual. Her reaction to the story and her engagement with the characters was a great motivator to keep writing. More

Two of the biggest names in literature are coming to Medway to speak about their latest novels.

Authors Lisa Jewell and Tamar Cohen will be at Gillingham Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 30 July.

Lisa has written 11 books, the latest of which is The House We Grew Up In. More

A female author known for her witty and rebellious writing style will be sharing her experiences to mark International Women’s Day.
Writer Scarlett Thomas, will be at Rochester Community Hub on Friday, 8 March to talk about her career, and she will also be available for book signings.
Scarlett has written such titles as Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, and Our Tragic Universe.
The talk begins at 7.30pm and is free of charge.
This is one of many events which will be taking place around the world on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
To book a place at the Scarlett Thomas talk, phone 01634 33744 or email rochester.library@medway.gov.uk

(c) Graham Jepson

Popular British author Robert Goddard will be in Chatham next month to launch his latest book, in paperback.

The author, who has penned more than 20 thrillers, will be in Chatham Library at Chatham Community Hub on Thursday, 13 September at 7.30pm. More

Authors

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