Precisely two millennia ago, or so it seems, I posted the first of a two-part series chronicling my visit to the Charles Dickens Museum on Doughty Street. Since my Achilles' Heel is procrastination, the concluding post is only now just arriving. Tut, tut.
As someone whose passion for books is, ironically, beyond words, visiting a site of literary significance is such a special time for me. They are my Mecca. Moving about the intimate spaces where beloved authors lived and wrote is a transcendent experience. I often imagine that the ghost of the writer in question lingers behind, looking upon the visitors whose lives he has touched with his words.
What would Dickens think of the fuss made over him today? Considering he was well known and popular during the Victorian period, part of me thinks he'd be used to the attention. The other part can't help but feel that even Charlie D. would be amazed at the growth and endurance of his authorial celebrity. Would he feel mortified knowing strangers were looking over his commode and other personal belongings? I would!
Here's a glimpse of my time spent exploring Dickens's home on 48 Doughty Street. Located in the lovely Bloomsbury neighborhood in London, the museum warrants a visit from any Dickensian fanatic...
Here I am, in Charlie D's foyer
A Christmas garland festoons the banister
Personal letters line the hall
I believe this one was sent to Dickens's illustrator George Cruikshank
A collection of author photographs
The drawing room was decorated for Christmas, Victorian style
I'm digging the furniture, but what's up with the creepy mask?
I love the Victorian Christmas crackers
Mr and Mrs Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol
Painted by Dickens's daughter Katey, born at this house
Special exhibit on Dickens as an orator
His personal reading copy of Sikes and Nancy
Notes added for emphasis (and when Dickens expects a laugh?)
Nancy's costume from the musical production
Commode owned by the family
where Dickens presumably sat his royal bottom
The table which saw Dickens's last written words
My favourite item in the giftshop: Charles Dickens Action Figure
Complete with quill pen and removable hat!
The view from Doughty Street
Ah, what a fantastic visit. I look forward to stopping by again in the future!
P.S. Vol. I of my Charles Dickens experience.