A former lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, who lives in Inverurie, and who dedicated almost 40 years to teaching students the works of Dickens, has been rewarded with a visit to Buckingham Palace.
Dr Schlicke, a former lecturer in English, who has also served as chair of the Dickens museum in Londed, was
invited to attend a reception held by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh last Tuesday (February 14).
Dr Schlicke said he was delighted to receive an invitation to the prestigious event. He added: “It will be an honour to attend. Having spent my career working on Dickens it is nice to receive this kind of recognition.”
Dr Schlicke is author of Dickens and Popular Entertainment (1985), editor of the Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens (1999, 2011), and is past president of the international Dickens Fellowship and of the Dickens Society of America.
He has been a trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum since 2004 and served as chairman between 2005 and 2009.
Cultural events to mark the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth are planned across the globe for 2012 – including a programme at the University of Aberdeen to be announced in the Spring – and Dr Schlicke said this demonstrates the Victorian novelist’s relevance to modern day society.
He said: “Dickens has become recognised increasingly as the most important writer in English since Shakespeare. “Interestingly like Shakespeare he had a large popular appeal as well as one to academic and literary specialists.
“He is probably the single most referred to source for what life was like in mid 19th century England, particularly London. Dickens was one of the great comic writers in our language and his insight into psychology and into social issues was very great indeed.”
Dr Schlicke said Dickens’s enduring appeal is a reflection of his status and the ability of his writing to reach out to those beyond the literary elite.
“He is still bringing pleasure to people all over the world and I’m pleased to see so much is being done to commemorate this important anniversary and I’ll be closely involved with planning events to take place here in Aberdeen.”