A Reunion of the People of Dickens

A child gazing into the the face of an old woman

The Charles Dickens Social

A pleasant evening’s entertainment is the reunion of the people of Charles Dickens’ novels. In the works of no other writer will be found such a variety of characters for representation. This exercise is especially adaptable for a Lyceum or Reading Circle. It may be arranged as a masquerade or purely literary affair. If the latter, we would suggest a Dickens Programme in connection with the character exhibit.

In choosing the characters for representation a careful study of the part will be necessary, in order that the representation may be perfectly natural.

A pleasant feature of the literary programme may be tableaux adapted from the most pathetic scenes, as “Death of Little Nell,” “Pip and the Escaped Convict,” and the “Companionship of Paul and Florence Dombey.”

We give a complete list of characters for representation, also the book in which they may be found.


  • Mr. Bumble, a pompous parish beadle in Oliver Twist.
  • Jack Bunsby, a sea captain, oracle, and philosopher, in Dombey and Son.
  • Searjeant Buzfuz, a bullying lawyer, in Pickwick Papers.
  • Rev. Mr. Chadband, a hypocritical clergyman in Bleak House.
  • Capt. Cuttle, a sea-captain, in Dombey and Son.
  • Dodson and Fogg, a law firm, in Pickwick Papers.
  • Paul Dombey, a delicate, pathetic child, in Dombey and Son.
  • Dora, the child-wife of David Copperfield, in David Copperfield.
  • David Copperfield, hero, in book of same name.
  • Mr. Squeers, a villainous schoolmaster, in Nicholas Nickleby. Also Mrs. Squeers and Miss Fanny Squeers.
  • The Fat Boy, a humorous character who is always hungry, in Pickwick Papers.
  • Joe Gargery, an illiterate blacksmith, in Great Expectations.
  • Mrs. Joe Gargery, wife of the aforesaid Joe.
  • Barnaby Rudge, a half-witted boy, in book of same name.
  • Bill Sikes, a thief, and murderer, in Oliver Twist.
  • Smike, a poor, despised outcast, in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Mark Tapley, boy servant of Martin Chuzzlewit, in book of Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Mrs. Betsy Trotwood, eccentric aunt of David Copperfield.
  • Mr. Tulkinghorn, an old bachelor, in Bleak House.
  • Oliver Twist, a poor miserable boy, in book of same name.
  • Mrs. Gummidge, the poor, ‘lorn widder, in David Copperfield.
  • Uriah Heep, a deceitful villain, in David Copperfield.
  • Mrs. Leo Hunter, a blue-stocking, in Pickwick Papers.
  • Vincent Crummels and Ninetta Crummels, a traveling showman and his daughter, in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Mrs. Jarley, proprietor of the waxworks show, in Old Curiosity Shop.
  • Mrs. Jellyby, a sham philanthropist, in Bleak House.
  • Mr. Alfred Jingle, a swindling stroller, in Pickwick Papers.
  • The Kenwigs, a family of little girls, in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Little Nell, the pure child heroine, in Old Curiosity Shop. Also Nell’s grandfather, in same book.
  • Little Emily, pathetic character, in David Copperfield.
  • Mr. Mantalini, a fop, in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Marchioness, a poor, abused servant girl in Old Curiosity Shop.
  • Mr. Micawber, a shiftless fellow in David Copperfield.
  • Miss Miggs, an ill-tempered servant maid, in Barnaby Rudge.
  • Nancy, a depraved girl, in Oliver Twist.
  • Mrs. Nickleby and Nicholas Nickleby, her son in book of same name.
  • Pecksniff, a hypocrite, in Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Clara Peggotty, a nurse of David Copperfield.
  • Mr. Pickwick, hero of Pickwick Papers.
  • Tom Pinch, an oddity, in Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Mr. John Podsnap, a pompous Britisher, in Our Mutual Friend.
  • Quipp, a hideous dwarf, in Old Curiosity Shop.
  • Samuel Weller, body servant of Mr. Pickwick.
  • Tony Weller,father of Samuel.
  • Agnes Wickfield, second wife of David Copperfield.
  • Mr. Winkle, a sport, in Pickwick Papers.
  • Pip, a little lad, in Great Expectations.

A Carnival of Nations

Woman dressed as Miss Columbia

Miss Columbia

It is not entirely clear that this photo goes with this activity because some of the text from the caption is missing, but the only other activities on page 22 are A Cat Social and A Date Social. This comes the closest because it mentions costumes:

This is designed for a fancy-dress affair, each guest being requested to dress to represent some nation. When all have gathered a grand march is participated in by all. As a feature of the entertainment a short description of the nation represented is read by each guest; these descriptions should be limited to not more than half a dozen facts; this and his dress are the key by which he is identified. Slips of paper are provided and the guesses are recorded in the order in which they are read. A simple gift, as a book of views, is provided for the most successful contestant.

The second part of the evening may be devoted to the following national conundrums; the answers may be written or given orally as desired.

Name a:

  •  Murderess nation (Assassination)
  • Floral nation (Carnation)
  • Poet’s nation (Imagination)
  • School-girl’s nation (Examination)
  • Teacher’s nation (Explanation)
  • Traveler’s nation (Destination)
  • Preventative nation (Vaccination)
  • Ruler’s nation (Coronation)
  • Church-goer’s nation (Donation)