Friday, February 10, 2012

The Charles Dickens Museum, Vol. I

It occurred to me when I wrote about the Dickens Bicentenary that I had yet to share my experience visiting the Charles Dickens Museum when I went on a mini-break to London last Christmas. So, in honour of this quintessential author on his 200th birthday, I would like to take you on a little tour of his former home on Doughty Street, London.

In hindsight, I explored the museum at the perfect moment. I was finally starting to comprehend of the brilliance of Dickens novels and was consequently more open minded to embracing what I saw there. Visiting just three days after Christmas, I wasn't faced with crowds of tourists. Victorian Christmas decorations (particularly in the drawing room) brought a holiday atmosphere to the home of one who wrote so effectively about Christmas and the spirit of giving. It was a lovely touch. Mostly, however, I greatly appreciated that the museum was quiet and peaceful, allowing me to have a personal experience with these Dickensian relics.

So, on the with the show...

Welcome to 48 Doughty Street!

 The entrance hall
Pause for a self-portrait
 Down to the cellar...
For a view of the kitchen
Bars from the Marshalsea
where Dickens's father was imprisoned for debt
Bust of the young author
Looking onto Doughty Street from Dickens's study
His paper knife
Late photo of Catherine Dickens -- poor woman!
Catherine's handkerchiefs
Room at the back of the house
This page from a manuscript was accompanied by a note
explaining that Dickens lived in a time when there were no computers
News flash!
A creative representation of the literary imagination

This concludes part one of the tour. Part two shall follow shortly. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend! 


Cassandra said...

Oh, yet another reason to visit London! I am longing to go to England and see this wonderful museum myself, but unfortunately that won't be possible anytime soon...
Thanks for these amazing impressions! :)

Diana said...

Cassandra: Now that I am back in America, I want to go back to England approximately 2,728 times each day. :) Why is traveling so expensive? But yes, I'd highly recommend a trip to the Dickens Museum when you make your way to London. I think you would thoroughly enjoy the experience!

Jillian said...

I NEED to visit London -- one day. First I need a passport. :)

Thanks so much for posting all of this! I would love to see this museum, as well as Shakespeare, Austen, and the Brontes's houses -- one day. :D

Diana said...

Jillian: You will love it! There are so many things that making traveling to Britain a joy. For me, however, nothing beats the magic of visiting the home or museum of a beloved author. There are so many more I want to explore (in the UK and the US).

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