Dickens Descendant Brings History To Life

By: Jodi Baker Email
By: Jodi Baker Email

Call him Christmas royalty. Gerald Charles Dickens is the great-great-grandson of legendary author Charles Dickens. He hails from London, but will be making the rounds in the metro this weekend in honor of Dickens’ 200th birthday.

Sunday, he will perform his one man show, a reading of “A Christmas Story,” as a fundraiser for the Historic General Dodge House Museum. The event will take place at Iowa Western’s Looft Auditorium with two performances, a matinee show and an evening show.

The event involving a Dickens descendant is particularly fitting as a fundraiser for the Historic Dodge House since Mrs. Ruth Ann Dodge, the general’s wife, used Dickens’ Christmas classic as a theme of the biggest fundraiser she hosted. Then, the cause was to raise money for Council Bluffs’ free public library, a first for the entire state.

“Historically… women are kind of glossed over or under appreciated,” said Danette Hein-Snider, a volunteer coordinator and researcher for the Dodge House. “And Mrs. Dodge certainly stepped up and helped Council Bluffs.”

During her annual parties, she’d get 150 people dressed up in costumes of Dickens’ characters. Sunday’s events incorporate that sort of authenticity, too.

Kori Nelson, executive director of the Dodge House said, “We certainly love the Christmas season. It's a big part of what we do. This just adds that extra element on to what we normally do here and having Gerald Charles Dickens as part of our celebration was kind of the icing on the cake."

Cake and ice cream will be served at Sunday’s 2 p.m. performance at the college. Tickets range from $10 to $55 for a family pack. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be served at the evening show, which begins at 7 p.m. Those tickets are $35 to $40.

The Douglas County Historical Society is hosting weekend events with Gerald Charles Dickens as well. Visit the website link below for more information.

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