UCSC’s Dickens Project featured in August issue of New Yorker

In the August 29 issue of the New Yorker, staff writer Jill Lepore has written a fascinating feature story about the Dickens Project at UC Santa Cruz.

Titled Dickens in Eden: Summer Vacation with ‘Great Expectations,' the story describes Lepore’s experience as an attendee at the 2011 Dickens Universe-- UCSC’s annual weeklong summer celebration of writer Charles Dickens.

As Lepore writes:

”The University of California, Santa Cruz sits at the edge of an America that Dickens never saw, in a forest of redwood and eucalyptus just below the mountains and just above the ocean, foggy in the morning and dark as tar at night. It smells of lavender, and of the sea.”

Mixing insights and anecdotes about Dickens with descriptions of her encounters with various attendees at the Dickens Universe—including the project’s co-founders, UCSC professors John Jordan and Murray Baumgarten—she notes near the end:

“Precious few humanities initiatives have brought together students and readers, scholars and teachers as well as the Dickens Project has done…. but it’s now increasingly dependent on donations.”

The August 29 issue of the New Yorker hits newsstands next week. If you can’t wait, go to the New Yorker web site.