Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Victorian novelist and playwright, Wilkie Collins, and an ongoing exhibition about his friendship with Charles Dickens has been extended.

The exhibition, Mutual Friends: The Adventures of Charles Dickens & Wilkie Collins was due to end next month, but has now been extended until 21st April 2024 to give people time to visit if they haven’t already.

Shortly after the exhibition’s opening, in November, the Museum welcomed fellow writers, actors, directors and huge fans of Charles and Wilkie, Simon Callow and Mark Gatiss to Doughty Street. While at the Museum, the pair met in Dickens’s Drawing Room to record some of the letters exchanged by Charles and Wilkie (with Simon as Charles and Mark as Wilkie) and extracts from their collaborative works such as The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices, a five-part story, written in 1857. The tale was inspired by a walking tour in Cumberland in which the pair became lost up a mountain.

The exhibition includes a previously undisplayed letter from Dickens to his sister-in-law, Georgina Hogarth, which tells the whole tale.

Emma Harper, Curator at the Charles Dickens Museum, said, “We’re thrilled that there’s been so much interest in our exhibition and the unique partnership between Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Charles and Wilkie loved celebrating their birthdays together, so what better way to mark Wilkie’s 200th birthday than by extending our exhibition, enabling more people to come and discover the personal side of these two great Victorian writers, as well as their collaborative stories.”

Tickets to visit the exhibition are available from here.


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