A Queen’s University academic has accused a manufacturer of committing “cultural vandalism” by creating a limited edition collection of handbags containing writings by Charles Dickens.
The Charles Dickens leather handbag bears a tiny scrap from a brief note by the Victorian author declining a speaking engagement.
It has been produced by manufacturer Sekre, which is selling the handbags – that have been partly tanned with Champagne – for £2,700 each. Other handbags include letters from Queen Victoria, aviator Charles Lindburgh and actresses Brigitte Bardot and Marlene Dietrich.
Sekre said the writings are authenticated by experts before being carefully cut up and the pieces concealed in a compartment of their limited edition bags, the Times reported at the weekend.
Professor Leon Litvack, a Dickens expert who made headlines recently when he published research which claimed the remains of the famous Victorian author were effectively “body-snatched” in 1870 by two men for their own selfish gain, said he believed the handbags are nothing more than “cultural vandalism”.
Comment by Daniela Cromp (Munich) in Exlibris-L: “This is digusting, but things like this happen constantly: It is also vandalism to break up medieval manuscripts for selling them as single sheets or (even worse) as cut out initials only, but nobody in the trade or the government in any country seems to care! (In my opinion, it even is a crime to buy single sheets of medieval manuscripts, because it indirectly supports slaughtering).”