Thursday, 9 February 2012

THE ROOMS THAT DICKENS LIVED IN...


The recently renovated Charles Dickens Museum is to be found at 48, Doughty Street, in London, a terraced Georgian house in Holborn where the writer lived from 1837-39.


Leased for £80 per year, this is where he wrote The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby whilst also throwing himself into planning the interior decoration, even going so far as to install a shower and conservatory - and no doubt he took tea and cake in this very parlour.
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The house is where two of his daughters were born. perhaps in this very bedroom.



These are the stairs where his sister in law, Mary, fell back into his arms and died at the age of seventeen - an event recreated in fiction in the death of Little Nell.



And this the library where he worked.




The museum which is open every day of the week contains thousands of exhibits, including the figurine of this little midshipman which featured in Dombey and Son.




There are also original manuscripts, rare editions of printed books, personal items, furniture and paintings, including the famous but unfinished Dickens' Dream by R W Buss, the original illustrator of The Pickwick Papers.



For more information please see this link.

And for some fascinating facts about a previous home of Dickens, see this short film with Ruth Richardson.

18 comments:

  1. Had a wonderful visit to this museum a couple of years ago. I particularly like the Buss painting. Thanks for excellent post.

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  2. I haven't been back to the museum since my first visit which was over 20 years ago. Thanks to this post, I'm going to go back, next time I'm in London.

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  3. I imagine it must be really busy at the moment with all the bicentennial celebrations, but I would love to visit too - especially to 'Dickens' Dream'.

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  4. Isn't the the title of his early work "The Pickwick Papers", not "Pipwick"? Fully open being educated about a forgotten spelling.

    But overall, keep up the smashing bloggery!

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  5. I'd love to visit it one day. The pictures are beautiful. thanks for posting them.

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  6. Yamara - yes! My fingers rushed away with me while typing. Shall have to go in and change that. Thank you!

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I'm kicking myself for not visiting when I was last in London. I'm adding it to my list of places to visit, if I ever get back. It's a long way from NZ. :)

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  8. Oh yes, that is a long way to come! But there's lots of interest on the museum website...and the top floor being made into a Great Expectations area sounds great.

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  9. This was an elegant and spacious Georgian terraced house in Holborn, and better still, it had a super library. Yet Dickens only lived there from 1837 to 1739. What happened? Why did he uproot the family within such a short time to move again?

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  10. I love it. I was there on Christmas Eve when they decorated the house as it would have looked in Dickens' time. It was lovely and we had a reading from Christmas Carol, mince pies and mulled wine, all on my blog.

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  11. Hels - I shall have to check when I read the Tomalin biography.

    Patricia - that sounds lovely. What is the link to your blog?

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  12. I was there almost twenty years ago, on my first visit ever to London, as a young backpacker! I can't believe it's that long! I may pay a visit this summer to it again and see the renovations.

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  13. One of my favourite museums! Reading your book now :)

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  14. I've never been to the Dickens House Museum. There are 2 are there not, one in Rochester or was it Chatham?

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  15. Charlotte M, London12 February 2012 at 07:20

    It's such a lovely museum, but did you hear they've made the crazy decision to close for most of Dickens' bicentenary year?? So if any of you are visiting London after next month you won't be able to visit it. I can't believe it! I think everyone should write to Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) amd ask him to keep the museum open for 2012 and do the renovations in 2013 instead.

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  16. That is one beautiful library. I keep meaning to go to the Dickens Museum when I visit London and somehow end up not going. Maybe next time.

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