Monday, October 25, 2010

Charles Dickens Museum

While in London, we visited the Charles Dickens Museum, located at 48 Doughty Street in a quiet (comparatively speaking) residential section of London called Bloomsbury. Dickens grew up in poverty, and such a life is reflected in many of the stories he wrote later as an adult. He and his growing family moved several times once he gained acclaim for his books, and this home was where he lived near the beginning of his career. He shared the home with his wife and his first child. Two other children were born during the two and a half years Dickens and his family lived here. His home has been a museum since 1925.

The house has many pieces of furniture and personal items that belonged to the Dickens family, and lots of interesting information about the life and works of Charles Dickens. There is a special display of Oliver Twist and the subsequent musical, Oliver! Oliver Twist was written while Dickens lived at this address, as were several other works, including Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby. And, in the spirit of manuscripts (see the British Library post), a manuscript of some of Pickwick Papers is on display at the Charles Dickens Museum. Many of his other manuscripts can be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum (which I didn't get to visit this time). In fact, the Victoria and Albert is actively seeking funds right now for the preservation of three of Dickens' novels. To contribute, click here.

I except we'll be hearing more about Dickens and his contributions to literature, as 2012 marks the 300th anniversary of his birth. The Charles Dickens Museum is gearing up for some special events to celebrate, called the Great Expectation Vision. To learn more about that, click here.

The museum had a beautiful garden out back. Here I am.

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