Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley

photo of Lucinda Dickens Hawksley

Lucinda Hawksley is an author, broadcaster and lecturer; she is also the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles and Catherine Dickens, which affords her a unique perspective into Dickensian history. Lucinda is a regular speaker at the National Portrait Gallery in London and a lecturer at IES London (working with undergraduate and postgraduate groups). She has been a guest speaker at the Washington & Lee alumni conference (three times), the Dickens Universe at Santa Cruz University, the International Dickens Fellowship Conference in Chicago and Santa Fe College; in 2014 she was invited to give the Jessie Daniel Ames Lecture at Southwestern University. Her other academic work includes a Fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago (where she researched the life of Augustus Dickens), and being the current Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at St Mary’s University in London. Lucinda’s work for travel companies includes leading tours for Criterion Travel, Noteworthy Travel, P&O Cruises and the Hilton group, as well as at universities and galleries in India, the USA, Australia, Spain and Italy. Lucinda also works with the National Portrait Gallery to arrange guided tours and walks with visiting groups.

Lucinda has written two books about her ancestor: Charles Dickens: A Bicentenary Celebration and the newly published Charles Dickens and his Circle. Her other books include biographies of the Pre-Raphaelite model and painter Lizzie Siddal, the sculptor Princess Louise (daughter of Queen Victoria), and the portrait painter Kate Perugini (née Dickens – Lucinda’s great great great aunt), as well as March, Women, March: Voices of the Women’s Movement, Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards (facial hair in portaiture), What Makes Great Art (co-written with artist Andy Pankhurst), 50 British Artists You Should Know, and the upcoming Bitten By Witch Fever. Lucinda is also an award-winning travel writer and a regular contributor to BBC Culture, BBC Britain and BBC Travel.

Her work as an interviewee and presenter has seen Lucinda appear on TV and radio programmes, and in newspapers, throughout the world. Her most recent broadcast appearances have been on the documentary Queen Victoria’s Children, the BBC’s The One Show and as the ‘Listed Londoner’ on Robert Elms’s BBC London radio show. She is a Patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London, the Patron of the Norwegian Pickwick Club and an honorary member of the Philadelphia Pickwick Club. Since 2009, Lucinda has been guest of honour at the Dickens On the Strand festival in Galveston, Texas.