Charles Dickens to Give Festive Reading

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Byline: By ALED BLAKE Western Mail

Charles dickens is alive and well and living in Wales - well his great-great-grandson is at least. Raymond Charles Dickens is one of the author's descendants and he has been discovered living and working in Caerphilly. Mr Dickens, whose father was also called Charles Dickens, has been in Wales for 27 years and is a director of Welsh insurance brokers Thomas, Carroll Group.

To mark his family link to the Victorian author, Mr Dickens will give a special reading of A Christmas Carol at the town's Wesley Methodist Church.

Mr Dickens, originally from Kent, is a keen fan of Dickens's writing and is something of a collector of memorabilia.

He explained, 'I find the work of Charles Dickens to be honest. He told it how it was. He brought the common man into life.

'Back then characters in fiction were often subservient. I feel Dickens changed all this.

'For quite some time I have been collecting all things connected with my great-great- grandfather. I have lots of Dickens memorabilia in my house. Probably too much.

'I have a bust of Charles Dickens which is the spitting image of my late father. I am also very fond of a painting by RW Buss called Dickens's Dream, which shows Charles relaxing in an old chair, with his legs crossed, and all the characters from his novels surrounding him.'

Mr Dickens's favourite Dickens quote is from A Tale of Two Cities, when Sidney Carton says, 'It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.'

Mr Dickens takes the family link to the author in his stride. 'Somebody has to be a descendant of Charles Dickens,' he said. 'I was just brought up with it.

'My father's name was Charles Dickens and I remember sitting in front of the TV in 1953 watching him in a programme called, The Name's The Same and feeling quite proud of that.

'If my father had a beard he would have been a dead ringer for Dickens, he had wavy hair and the same features and we have all got the same big noses. …