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Authors on Call/iNK Think Tank

Charles Dickens: One of History’s Greatest Writers and Reformers
By: Andrea Warren

Does an author have the power to change society? Using his gift for storytelling, Charles Dickens did exactly that. With the help of her latest book, Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London, award-winning author Andrea Warren introduces participants to Dickens as both an author and social reformer. She begins with a view of Victorian London in the 1830’s when Dickens, then a young journalist, was starting to write the stories that motivated the upper classes to better the lives of the poor. She describes the hardships of destitute children who lived on the streets or in the slums or workhouses doing menial, often dangerous work. Using Dickens’ own words, she explains his plunge into poverty as a child when he father was sent to debtors’ prison, forcing Dickens to work in a factory, unable to go to school. It was this traumatic period that determined the course of his life and his dedication to helping the poor. Warren relates how Dickens used his tremendous talent to target social abuses in his novels, inspiring his readers to begin the hard work of reform – $300

George Washington: C.S.I. Meets the Biography Channel

Did George Washington really look like his image on the dollar bill? Mount Vernon launched a forensic examination to find out. In this interactive session, your students will consider the same questions faced by a dream team of scientists, historians, and artists who worked on the project. Searching for the real George Washington, experts considered evidence revealed in portraits and statues of the man—and studied Washington’s own dentures, hair, clothing and more. Carla Killough McClafferty will share her original research on the investigation as well as photographs from her book, The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. She will discuss how she used primary source research to make George Washington come to life in her award-winning book.  $300