Charles Dickens, well-known English author, will be the guest of honor at a dinner at the Unity House, Boston, on February 7. A notable company of writers and public men will be guests at the dinner, on the occasion of Mr. Dickens' first visit to America.
The author of the Pickwick Papers has been dead a good many years. So, too, have all the guests at the now famous "Boz" dinner given to Dickens in Boston on February 7, 1842. But for a single night on the anniversary of Dickens' birth and of the dinner given for him in Boston nearly a century ago, they will all live again in the persons of prominent Bostonians and members of the Harvard faculty who will impersonate the guests at the original dinner and reproduce the entire scene.
Packard Takes Dickens' Part
F. C. Packard Jr. '20, instructor in public speaking at the University, will represent Dickens himself, who at the time was an alert, handsome young man of '29. Still on the threshold of his fame, he was already the idol of England and the envy of America. To do him honor, Boston's most distinguished citizens attended the dinner, as they will again next Saturday through their impersonators.
First there will be old Josiah Quincy Sr., 1790, president of Harvard College, represented by Harry H. Gay of the Footlight Club. Dr. Bigelow, the famous physician, will be represented by George W. Wilson of the Boston Museum stock company, while the dignified figure of Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1829, will live again in Leon H. Connell of Emerson College. Among the other guests will be:
Payne to be Quincy
Josiah Quincy Jr. 1827, president of the Senate, portrayed by Edward F. Payne, president of the Boston fellowship.
Richard Henry Dana, 1837, author by his son, Richard Henry Dana '74.
Washington Allston, 1800, painter, poet, and author, by Frank W. S. Hersey '99, of the department of English in the University.
Jonathan Chapman, 1825, mayor of Boston, by Herbert I. Jackson.
Thomas C. Grattan, British consul and author, by H. Grattan Donnelly, the playwright.
J. Thomas Stephenson, 1826, prominent Boston merchant, by Vernon A. Field, of the Dickens Fellowship and Pickwick Club.
On the honorary reception committee to "Mr. Dickens" are representatives of the well-known Boston families whom the real Dickens met on his first visit to Boston. The whole affair is being arranged as part of the celebration of Dickens' birthday by the Boston branch of the Dickens Fellowship.
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