Latest news from the gallery

Charles Dickens Lectures

Wed Nov 28, 2018

As part of our celebration of the discovery of the lost portrait of Charles Dickens by Margaret Gillies, we will be hosting two guest lectures during the exhibition.

*Please note that Professor John Mullan's talk is now fully booked*

*Please note that Claire Tomalin's talk in conversation with Philip Mould is now fully booked*

#Places for these talks are strictly limited and therefore will be offered on a first come first serve basis. To ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to obtain tickets there will be a restriction of 2 tickets per person. Thank you for your understanding.

If you are interested in attending, please rsvp stating if you would like one or two tickets to:

Alternatively you may call the gallery to book your place at: 020 7499 6818

You will then be contacted directly to confirm your place and will be sent an electronic ticket to present upon arrival at 18-19 Pall Mall.

First lecture: Wednesday 12th December 2018 – 14:00 – 15:30

*Fully booked*

Our first guest speaker will be Professor John Mullan, Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature at University College London. Professor Mullan will explore Dickens’ literary impact in the 1840s and the significance of A Christmas Carol, the work Dickens was writing when sitting for the portrait by Margaret Gillies.

Professor Mullan has researched widely on 19th-century literature and recently participated in the Intelligence Squared event 'Dickens vs Tolstoy: 'The Battle of the Great 19th-Century Novelists' in defense of Dickens. You can view the footage of the event which included guest actors including Tom Hiddleston, here

Selected Publications by Professor Mullan


Sentiment and Sociability. The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 1988)

Eighteenth-Century Popular Culture. A Selection with Christopher Reid (Oxford University Press, 2000)

How Novels Work (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Anonymity. A Secret History of English Literature (Faber and Faber, 2007)

What Matters in Jane Austen? (Bloomsbury 2012)


Second Lecture: Tuesday 15th January 2019 – 14:00 -15:30

*Please note that this talk is now fully booked*

Join Philip in conversation with celebrated author, journalist and Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin as they explore Charles Dickens’ life in 1843, the year in which our portrait was completed.

Claire Tomalin is the author of highly acclaimed biographies of Mary Wollstonecraft, Katherine Mansfield and Jane Austen. Her account of Charles Dickens' relationship with the actress Nelly Ternan, The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens, was published in 1990 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for biography), the NCR Book Award for Non-Fiction and the Hawthornden Prize. It was followed by Mrs Jordan's Profession (1994), a biography of the actress Dora Jordan, consort to William IV.

Claire Tomalin's biography of Charles Dickens, was published in 2011 and shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Biography Award.