7 Feb 2012

World celebrates Dickens anniversary

7:36 pm on 7 February 2012

The literary world is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of writer Charles Dickens.

A ceremony was being held at his birthplace in Portsmouth on the south coast of England, including a service during which Dicken's biographer Simon Callow will read from his novel David Copperfield.

Actor Sheila Hancock will also read from Oliver Twist.

In London, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will lay a wreath at the author's grave in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey as part of a service there.

The BBC reports the anniversary is being celebrated world-wide with a 24-hour 'readathon' that will begin in Australia with a reading of Dombey and Son and involve countries from Albania to Zimbabwe.