Toronto Fellowship Dickens Birthday Luncheon - Feb. 15, 2014

Last week, Louise and I spent a lovely weekend in Toronto, where we attended the Toronto Fellowship’s Dickens Birthday luncheon. After a wonderful breakfast, getting caught up with dear friend Henrietta Johnson (very active Dickensian, kindred spirit and fountain of Dickens knowledge whom we had both met at a Dickens society meeting some years ago), we made our way to the elegant Royal York Hotel. There on the mezzanine level, in the beautiful library, we met 60 or so fellow Dickens lovers. We were given a very warm reception and during the speeches, leading up to a multi-course traditional English dinner (roast-beef with Yorkshire pudding…), we were singled out and congratulated on our branch’s progress and our success to date.


Key-note speaker, Dr.Philip Allingham, Professor of English at Lakehead University in Thunderbay, Ontario, gave a fascinating talk on the illustrations and illustrators of “A Christmas Carol”.  Dan Calinescu, noted Dickens antiquarian book dealer and collector, displayed 75 illustrated editions of the book from his private collection. Many toasts were made, songs sung and a large number of prizes raffled off. We had a marvellous time!  Thanks so much to the Toronto Fellowhip branch for this great event and for making us feel so welcome!

Following is an interesting article printed on their luncheon program.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

The memorable opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities are an often-quoted example of anaphora, the rhetorical and literary device of repeating a word or phrase in successive clauses. Another Dickensian example, later in the book:

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.

And some other anaphora examples you may recognize!

Winston Churchill, speech to the House, 1940:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, 1940:

I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.

Justin Trudeau, eulogy for his father, 2000:

My father’s fundamental belief never came from a textbook. It stemmed from his deep love for and faith in all Canadians, and over the past few days, with every card, every rose, every tear, every wave and every pirouette, you returned his love.

Martin Luther King, Jr, “I Have a Dream,”1963: …

One hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.