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Charles Dickens fans watch David Copperfield film starring Dev Patel dressed up in Victorian costume at Chatham Odeon

Charles Dickens' biggest fans queued up in their Victorian finery to watch their hero's work on the big screen.

They dressed up to watch new film The Personal History of David Copperfield at Chatham's Odeon cinema yesterday.

WATCH: Steve Martin talks through the key characters in David Copperfield

Members of the Rochester and Chatham branch of the worldwide Dickens Fellowship saw the the film starring Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton and Paul Whitehouse.

Steve Martin who is secretary of the group which meets every month at Gad's Hill School in Higham, said: "Dickens always said he had a favourite child and that child is David Copperfield.

"Dickens, when he was younger, wrote an autobiography which he never published but he showed to John Forster his biographer and they know that the parallels in this film and book were taken from Dickens' own life."

The novel has links to the Medway Towns: Chatham, where Dickens lived as a child, is mentioned in chapter 13 of the book, as is Rochester.

Members of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship at Odeon in Chatham.
Members of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship at Odeon in Chatham.

The first reading of the novel took place in 1862 in a building called The Lecture Hall in Chatham High Street.

Dickens died on June 9, 1870 at the age of 58 at his home which is now Gad's Hill School.

A host of events are being planned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Dickens's death later this year in Rochester – where the annual Dickens Festival takes place – and throughout Medway.

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