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Collins and Dickens - Dickens and Collins

Part of the Bicentennial Celebrations of Wilkie Collins in 2024

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Conference Details

The University of Buckingham is proud to host a two-day conference on 20-21 June 2024 exploring the dynamic between Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens to commemorate the bicentenary of Collins’s birth.


The two authors were not only great friends but also collaborated together a number of times in their work, with Collins frequently contributing to Household Words and All the Year Round. But their friendship often spilled into annoyance and rivalry, with Dickens becoming frustrated at Collins’s apparent pomposity during their trip to Italy, and Collins dismissing Dickens’s last work as ‘the melancholy work of a worn out brain.’ Critics have subsequently argued over to what extent each can be said to influence the other. We welcome paper proposals from academics, postgraduates, and enthusiasts to discuss aspects of Collins and Dickens’s works, collaborations, and influences upon one another.


The conference is supported by the Dickens Society, Wilkie Collins Society, Dickens Fellowship and Charles Dickens Museum


There are a number of options for accommodation in Buckingham town centre catering for different budgets. Prices listed here are guides only, based on information at time of press and may go up or down.

Travelodge Buckingham

Price (one person, one night): c. £45

Distance from conference: 20 minutes walking, 5 minutes driving

Website: Travelodge Buckingham Hotel - Book Now

Premier Inn Buckingham

Price (one person, one night): c. £100

Distance from conference: 22 minutes walking, 6 minutes driving

Website: Buckingham Hotel | Premier Inn

White Hart Inn

Price (one person, one night): c. £60

Distance from conference: 8 minutes walking, 2 minutes driving

Website: The White Hart, Buckingham | Greene King Inns

The Villiers Hotel

Price (one person, one night): c. £120

Distance from conference: 7 minutes walking, 1 minute driving

Website: Villiers Hotel | Best 4* Hotel in Buckingham (


Thanks to the Dickens Society, we are able to offer two £100 bursaries to postgraduates, unsalaried faculty and independent scholars presenting papers at the conference. If you wish to be considered for a bursary, please submit a one-page CV and 100-word statement alongside your paper proposal, explaining how you would benefit from speaking at the conference alongside your abstract.

No Thoroughfare: A staged reading

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As part of the conference proceedings we are excited to announce we will be staging a reading of Collins and Dickens's co-authored play No Thoroughfare. Written in 1867 as an adaptation of their Christmas Number of the same name, No Thoroughfare tells the sensational tale of Walter Wilding, foundling child searching for the truth about his past, and his friend George Vendale's pursuit of the beautiful Marguerite despite the increasingly murderous machinations of her guardian Mr Obenreizer. We'll be performing the reading of this rarely-performed play on the evening of 20th June. Expect thrills and shocks in the Swiss Alps!



To be announced soon

You can also see live updates on our twitter page at Buckingham English (@BuckEngLit) / X (

Conference Organisers: Pete Orford and Amy Coles

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