Friday 2 May 2014

Charles Dickens Museum

Sometimes interests just align and even though you have a packed four days in London (that isn't enough time, not nearly enough time, there is just so much to do), you know that you have to make a pilgrimage of sorts. And so it was I came to visit Charles Dickens House in London last year.

Not that I'm a great Dickens scholar. I suspect that having read A Christmas Carol, The Magic Fishbone and half of Bleak House (twice) doesn't qualify me. But I am interested in Dickens. I think that Bleak House is one of the best books that I've only half read. I've seen Simon Callow speak about him, and portray him. I've seen Miriam Margolyes astonishing one woman play Dickens Women twice now. I've watched the Dr Who episode. And bits and pieces of various BBC miniseries too of course. One day I will embark on my  project to read all of Dickens.

Still I thoroughly enjoyed the hour or so I spent in Dickens Museum on a somewhat cool Thursday morning.

I didn't have the time to do a walk,
and I was there on a Thursday,
maybe next time?

You get to see upstairs

and downstairs

Learn about Victorian housekeeping practices-

And think about how long the laundry took!
Once a year the copper would be cleaned
and used to boil the Christmas pudding

There's great memorabilia
Dickens' lectern that he designed and
used for his reading tours

His writing desk

his deathbed

and even his commode

It's a fascinating place to spend an hour or so

I was tempted by the action figure but it would have meant
one less jar of Caramel Beurre Sale to bring home from Paris-
no contest really...
It was certainly 8 pounds well spent. 

Charles Dickens Museum 
48 Doughty Street, London

Take a fun trip to the British Isles
every Friday with Joyweesemoll


Jackie McGuinness said...

I feel the same about Dickens books, but would love seeing the museum.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Can't believe i lived in London for six years and never went to Dickens' house! i did go on the walk though (great fun!) and I've read all of Bleak House... ;)

Joy said...

You inspired me to re-watch the Dr. Who episode and to add this museum to my London list. I'll have to see if I can time it properly for a guided walk.

That's a really great desk! Maybe if I had that, I could finally write my book?

Joy's Book Blog

Unknown said...

I've read: A Tale of Two Cities; Great Expectations; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and I've started Pickwick Papers - twice!... why I haven't gone on with PP? Probably it's episodic nature, but like your fellings re Bleak House, I feel there is no better novel than Pickwick Papers to have started twice.
Re Edwin Drood: Dickens died with the novel only half completed and with no papers as to how it was meant to finish... ergo you have an un-denouned murder mystery. Many scholars and great writers have written the 2nd half of Edwin Drood... I read a novel by reknown American SciFi, Horror Author, Dan Simmons: Drood. Drood approaches the mystery of the Mystery of Edwin Drood from an almost metafictional perspective, including the characters of Dickins and his friend Wilkie Collins being very involved in the opium drenched doings of the Victorian London underground.
A very entertaining read - particularly if its reinforced with the original Mystery of Edwin Drood.