Dickens' Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday-Tuesday, Dec. 6-8, 2015

Welcome friends, to Cape May's annual Dickens Christmas Extravaganza!

Join world-renowned lecturer on Charles Dickens, Dr. Elliot Engel, and immerse yourself in the storied world of Dickens with lectures and performances offered daily. Engel’s mini-lecture series on Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country and his articles have appeared in national newspapers and magazines including Newsweek. Also featured are lectures by members of the Philadelphia Dickens Fellowships. Included in the Extravaganza is a Dickensian-style feast at the Washington Inn.

The Extravaganza package costs $175 per person and inclusive packages are available at participating inns. Please contact the participating inns directly to register. If you choose not to stay in a participating inn, you may register at 609-884-5404.


Sunday, December 6

7:30PM:  "The Literary Pauper & Prince:  Edgar Allan Poe & Charles Dickens"

Dr. Elliot Engel (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)


Monday, December 7

9:30AM:  "The Inimitable Winston Churchill"

Dr. Elliot Engel (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)


10:30AM: : "Dickens' Female Rivals: The Brilliant & Bizarre Bronte Sisters"

Dr. Elliot Engel (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)

12:00PM: Lunch on your own


2:00PM:  Visit to Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum and Forgotten Warriors Museum, Cape May Airport

 (Available only to full package participants)


Monday evening is a free evening for you. MAC offers evening tours. Tickets can be purchased at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.


Tuesday, December 8

10:00AM: Lecture/Discussion:

Jay Friedlin, president emeritus of the Philadelphia Dickens Fellowship, leads a discussion of Nicholas Nickleby. (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)

11:00AM: “Railways in the Victorian Age”

Joe Rondinelli, long-time Dickens Extravaganza participant 

The Victorians gave the world a cornucopia of discovery and invention in science, art, technology and medical knowledge. The greatest of their gifts , however, just may be steam power and the railways that used steam, steel, and coal, changing the world to this very day.” (Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.)


12:00PM: Lunch on your own

2:00PM:  From Fagin to Riah: Dickens and the Jews:

Herb Moskovitz

Was Dickens anti-Semitic? This lecture traces Dickens writings about the Jews from Fagin in Oliver Twist to Riah, the kindly Jew in Our Mutual Friend.

Cape May Stage Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette & Bank Sts.


7:00PM: Dickens Feast: Join your fellow Dickensians at the Washington Inn for a four course feast and closing festivities. (Available only to full package participants)

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About our presenters

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Eliot Engel now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he has taught at the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at UCLA. While at UCLA he won that university’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Dr. Engel has written ten books published in England, Japan, and the United States. His mini-lecture series on Charles Dickens ran on PBS television stations around the country. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and national magazines including Newsweek. He has lectured throughout the United States and on all the continents including Antarctica. Four plays which he has written have been produced during the last ten years. Since 1980, Dr. Engel has been President of the Dickens Fellowship of North Carolina, the largest branch of this worldwide network of clubs. Professor Engel continues to give literary and historical programs throughout the world.


Jay Friedlin is a physican and a vast reader of Charles Dickens and Dickensian lore. He is the president emeritus of the Philadelphia Dickens Fellowship and is an annual presenter at the Dickens Extravaganza.


Herb Moskovitz is an active member of numerous literary societies, including the Dickens Fellowship, the Wodehouse Society, Mycroft’s League (a Sherlockian Scion Society of BSI) and is a charter member of the Friends of Poe at the Philadelphia Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. He has a theatrical background, having acted and designed scenery and lighting for many Philadelphia area theater companies. He recently retired after 40 years of coordinating art and theatre programs for the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation.


Joseph Rondinelli is a former Director of Administration and Professional Development and Senior Administrator of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at NJMS. Joe is an avid Dickens fan and a long-time participant o the Dickens Christmas Extravaganza.



Bedford Inn

805 Stockton Ave., Cape May



Henry Sawyer Inn

722 Columbia Ave., Cape May



Leith Hall

22 Ocean St., Cape May



Twin Gables B&B

731 Columbia Ave., Cape May



Queen Victoria B&B

102 Ocean St., Cape May



Victorian Lace Inn

901 Stockton Ave., Cape May