Loading Events

« All Events

Virtual Event
  • This event has passed.

Feel Good Fridays – The Lost Portrait of Charles Dickens

29 January @ 12:00 - 13:00 GMT

Virtual Event

Historian, biographer and author Lucinda Hawksley reveals the fascinating story of the artist behind the Lost Portrait of Charles Dickens – missing for almost two centuries before it was rediscovered.

In 1843, a young Charles Dickens was painted by Scottish artist Margaret Gillies. Both sitter and artist were passionate social campaigners and their conversations helped shape the new book Dickens was writing. He was very stressed during their sittings, because his publishers had little faith in his upcoming book, A Christmas Carol, convinced it would not be a commercial success. They had insisted he should pay for most of the production costs and Dickens was panicking about his finances. A year after Gillies completed the portrait, it was exhibited at the Royal Academy to great acclaim – and then it disappeared. 

Find out what happened in this session with a brief introduction from Ceitidh Hutton, secretary of the Society of Authors in Scotland, followed by a talk and Q&A with Lucinda Hawksley. This is an SoA Member event only.



  • 5 minutes – Brief intro from Ceitidh Hutton, Secretary of the Society of Authors in Scotland

  • 45 minutes – Welcome from historian, biographer and author Lucinda Hawksley, before discussing the fascinating story of the artist, the author and the Lost Portrait

  • 10 minutes – Q&A with Lucinda Hawksley. Questions sent in advance and on the day

Please send any questions in advance to Anna Ganley with ‘Question – Charles Dickens event’ in the subject header.


The line-up

Lucinda Hawksley – Author, biographer, historian

Lucinda Hawksley is a member of the Society of Authors, a Patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London, and the great, great, great granddaughter of Charles and Catherine Dickens. She is the biographer of the artists Lizzie Siddal, Kate Perugini (née Dickens) and Princess Louise, as well as the author of titles including Bitten By Witch FeverDickens and Christmas, Charles Dickens and his Circle and March, Women, March. She has just finished writing Dickens and Travel 


Ceitidh Hutton – Author

Ceitidh Hutton lives and works in the Highlands. She also writes under the name of C.C. Hutton and is better known for her Scottish Gaelic Children’s books. Grumpa agus an Latha Fuaimneach won Best Young Children’s book at the Royal National Mod 2019. Ceitidh was named on the shortlist for the Gaelic Literature Awards 2020 with her unpublished manuscript ’S toigh leam slug salach. She is registered with the Scottish Book Trust Live Literacy Programme.  



SoA Members only. Book your place using the registration form below.

All Feel Good Friday sessions are free to SoA Members but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE

Accordion Content

Financial support for authors in need through the health crisis and beyond

Since March 2020, the Authors’ Contingency Fund has distributed over £1 million in small grants to authors facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

As the health crisis continues, applications for grants continue to come in, and our emergency funds are running low.

So, if you are in a position to help, please donate via the link below. If you are an author facing financial hardship, please click here to see if we can help.


Accordion Content

20% off your first year with discount code SOAFESTIVAL20

The Society of Authors is the UK’s biggest trade union for authors – representing more than 11,300 writers, illustrators, translators and other creative practitioners.

Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

As an SoA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to all our SoA @ Home Festival events for free
  • Unlimited one-to-one professional advice
  • Membership of our online and real-world professional networks
  • A range of member-only discounts, including books, insurance and travel
  • And much more.



29 January
12:00 - 13:00 GMT
Event Category:
Event Tags: