A leading expert in linguistics has shed new light on the language of Dickens in the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the literary giant.
Dr Laura Wright, a university reader in English language at the University of Cambridge, addressed an audience of 120 in a presentation staged at Wisbech Grammar School before the Christmas break and organised by the Wisbech and Fenland Museum, which has been mounting a ‘Great Expectations’ exhibition to coincide with the anniversary.
The visiting academic, a historical linguist who works on the history of the London dialect and who created a listening post for the recent Museum of London exhibition on Charles Dickens, spoke about the author’s connections with East Anglia.
She argued that his fast shorthand and good ear enabled him to glean a great deal about local dialect during a winter railway journey that he made to Great Yarmouth.
Her talk followed another visit to the school arranged by the museum, when the author, Robin Dermond Horspool, spoke about his novel, ‘The mould of time’, which focuses on the early eccentric life of Miss Havisham before being jilted.