Experts gather for Medway Charles Dickens event

Gad's Hill Place
Image caption Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities when he lived at Gad's Hill Place, Higham

Experts on the work of Charles Dickens are gathering in Kent for a conference linking Medway with Paris, Boulogne and London.

Academics from around the world are taking part in a conference called and are visiting all four locations.

The event marks the 200th anniversary of the author's birth on Tuesday.

The participants will tour Medway sites connected to the author on Monday. Dickens grew up in Chatham and died at his home in Higham, near Rochester.

Dr Catherine Waters, from the University of Kent, said the conference, called A Tale of Four Cities, aimed to give both Dickens and the academics "the best 200th birthday bash possible".

She said: "Chatham and Rochester are the places where Dickens spent most of the first part of his childhood, during what seem to have been largely happy years when his convivial father was employed by the Navy as a pay clerk."

She said the academics would spend the first part of the day visiting different sites where Dickens grew up, and then spend the afternoon discussing the Dickensian ideal of the child.

The researchers have already visited Dickens-related locations in France and the conference will finish in London on Wednesday.

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