Thursday 7 February 2019

Visiting Charles Dickens.

Today is Charles Dickens' birthday. His 207th birthday to be precise. Where better to visit than his house in Doughty Street, London. Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine moved into 48 Doughty Street in 1837 shortly after their marriage. They lived there for three years and it was here that he wrote The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby.

Today it is a charming museum with the house displayed much as it was during their time there.

At present the museum is hosting a Dinner with Dickens exhibition, with a beautiful display in his dining room, including personal plates for his wife, himself and guests. I expect no less from my writer friends from now on.

You can explore the rest of the house with the food theme in several rooms, with written and recorded extracts about food from his novels and information about his wife's recipes. There are even some things to smell.

Of course no visit to the home of a writer would be complete without seeing the writer's desk and chair. Dickens had a strict routine of writing, without distractions, every morning between breakfast and lunch.

Meanwhile his wife would be organising the household from the morning room while the servants would be going about the household chores in the kitchens and scullery which are also open to visitors.

The museum displays a number of the Dickens's personal possessions such as handwritten drafts of some of his novels, paintings, ornaments, Catherine's engagement ring, Dickens' smart 'court' suit and, of course, his desk alongside other artifacts from the era.

Even if you aren't interested in Dickens, the house is a lovely museum to domestic life in the early Victorian period. I do recommend a visit.

For more information please see The Dickens Museum