The Dickens Statue

Frank Ewell (right) at work on the statue of Charles Dickens.

In the year 1901 Clark Park became the home of a bronze, slightly-larger-than-life-sized Charles Dickens statue. The statue was placed in Clark Park after it was purchased by the Fairmount Park Art Association in 1900. Until that time the statue had spent several years in storage following a busy exposition schedule. It was displayed at the Philadelphia Art Club (1891), in London (1892), and at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The Dickens Sculpture is thought to be the only life-sized likeness of the author in the world and is described as, “appealing and touching to an extreme degree.”

The Wikipedia page on Clark Park, and its section on the Dickens statue.

An article about the statue.

About Francis Elwell, the sculptor:

A lecture by Linda Blythe, delivered at our April 2007 meeting, about the work of Francis Elwell.

Little Nell, today.

A 1989 article about the theft of Little Nell, and the efforts by the Friends of Clark Park and other organizations to restore her.

Dickens’ Twin

And, in fairness and in solidarity, we should draw your attention to the only other statue of Charles Dickens, in Australia. First installed in New South Wales’ Centennial Park in 1891, it stood for eighty years before being put into storage. In February of 2011,  the statue was found, reconstructed and put back in its place in Centennial Park.

The New South Wales Dickens Society, February 2011

Dickens’ Other Twin

Statue of Dickens by Martin Jennings, planned for unveiling in Portsmouth in June 2013.

The Dickens Fellowship has raised £118,000 to erect a third statue of Dickens. The statue is set to be unveiled in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square on 9 June 2013, the 133rd anniversary of the author’s death. Although reports have it that the Fellowship’s reached its funding goals, their page for fundraising can be found here.

The Telegraph has an article about the project here. The BBC’s coverage is here.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: A world treasure stands in Centennial Park | Centennial Parklands Blog

Leave a Reply