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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 21:30 GMT
Dickens statue 'against wishes'
Charles Dickens
Dickens wrote some of his best-known work in the Medway towns
Plans to erect a statue of Charles Dickens in Kent, where he lived for many years, have been criticised.

Experts say it would be against the dying wishes of the Victorian novelist, who specified in his will that he did not want a memorial erected.

Medway Council, who say the idea is in its very early stages, discussed a statue at a meeting earlier this month.

Dickens enthusiasts will mark the 200th anniversary of his birth in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 2012.

He moved to the Medway towns as a child.

"There isn't a real memorial to Dickens in the South East," said Councillor Jane Chitty.

"I understand there is one coming shortly in Portsmouth, but not in Medway, where he spent a great deal of his time and did some of his best writing."

Dickens World, a four-acre attraction in Chatham, based on the writer's life opened last year.

On no account to make me the subject of any memorial or testimonial whatever
Will of Charles Dickens

The council has said it will take guidance from the Dickens family about whether a statue would be appropriate.

Malcolm Andrews, Professor of English at Kent University, said: "He was clear enough in his will that he did not want that ever to happen.

"I don't think it is a matter of enough time elapsing.

"Dickens is a household name - a worldwide name. Why do we need a statue?

"He is remembered already."

Dickens statue 'would be against his dying wishes'


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