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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Dickens experts retrace his steps
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens lived in the Medway town of Rochester as a child
Charles Dickens fans from across the world are gathering in Kent to discuss the work of their favourite author.

The meeting of the Dickens Fellowship this year celebrates the centenary of the magazine "The Dickensian".

Enthusiasts from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and the USA, will stay in Canterbury to look at Dickens' relationship with east Kent.

They will visit Broadstairs to see where the author spent many of his family holidays between 1836 and 1850.

He certainly didn't write Bleak House while he was in Broadstairs but he often stayed there
John Ingram, Canterbury Dickens Fellowship

In 1839 the Dickens family stayed at No. 40 Albion Street, Broadstairs, while Dickens was finishing Nicholas Nickleby.

Dickens House in Broadstairs was once the home of a woman on whom the writer based Betsey Trotwood - a character in David Copperfield.

Another famous connection with the town is Bleak House which inspired Dickens to write his famous novel of the same name.

"He certainly didn't write Bleak House while he was there but he often stayed there," said John Ingram, from the Canterbury Dickens Fellowship.

He added: "West Kent is where Dickens is more famously associated with but east Kent is what we're trying to emphasise this weekend."

Charles Dickens' most famous link with the county is of course Medway, where he lived as a child before returning to the area for the last 13 years of his life, dying at Gads Hill in 1870.

Restoration House in Rochester was the setting for Satis House in Great Expectations, where Miss Havisham lived.

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