CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM

Visiting the homes of great men can be a disappointing experience, this is not the case with the Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury.  48 Doughty Street is home the Dickens moved into with his new young wife, here he wrote Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby.  It is easy imagine the young Dickens family noisily occupying the house.

Charles Dickens Museum

The thing that you want to see most of all in an authors house is where they did their writing.  You need to be able to envision them scribbling away furiously or staring into space seeking inspiration.  Luckily Dickens’ desk is on show so we can imagine him creating.

Charles Dickens Museum

Elsewhere the house is furnished with period pieces but the man himself is evoked brilliantly.  In the dining room the table is set for a dinner party with each place setting having a picture of the guest, meanwhile hidden speakers provide a background babble of Victorian street noise.

Charles Dickens Museum

Shadows of Dickens invite us to climb the stairs to explore the house. Once upstairs the rooms are furnished as you would expect but that walls are adorned with quotes from Dickens.  Everywhere there are piles of books that invite you read them on the cover.

Charles Dickens House

My image of Charles Dickens has always been of a rather portly man.  His court dress is on display at the Charles Dickens Museum and shows him to have actually cut rather a dashing figure.

Charles Dickens Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum has space for special exhibitions the current one Restless Shadow: Dickens the Campaigner, highlights the fact that Dickens was a working and campaigning journalist as well a writer of fiction.  He edited and owned a series of magazines, they featured his stories that appeared week by week only to appear as a book after all episodes had appeared; much like today’s box sets.  He sat down to work on the newspapers on Wednesday’s.  The chair that he sat on for, what I like to think of as his Cultural Wednesdays is on display until 29 October 2017.

Doughty Street is a little off the beaten track (not that much it is in WC1 after all) but is well worth seeking out.  There is a café with lovely garden in which to gather your strength for the onwards journey.  At Christmas the Charles Dickens Museum is decorated in a suitably Victorian manner, you can read about Christmassy visit by clicking here.

CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM
48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX
Open: January – November, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
December open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Admission: Adults £9, concessions £6, Children £4

Suitcases and Sandcastles
Wander Mum

19 Comments

  1. May 11, 2017 / 8:57 am

    That looks like a brilliant place to visit. Definitely one to take Freya to when she’s older. I love seeing where people write, maybe I should include that in Behind The Book? (I like his taste in front door colour too :))

    • May 11, 2017 / 9:06 am

      That would be a brilliant part of Behind the Book. Norfolk has such a vibrant literary past and present

  2. Clare Thomson
    May 12, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    I must go here, Catherine! I do love seeing writers’ desks – it’s always inspiring. Thanks for sharing with us on #FarawayFiles

  3. Wherejogoes
    May 12, 2017 / 7:54 pm

    So inspiring to be able to visit the house and see the actual desk. Who wouldn’t love a nose around Dickens house? #FarawayFiles

  4. May 13, 2017 / 11:00 am

    I had no idea this existed! Must pop in soon. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  5. May 14, 2017 / 10:05 am

    Enjoyed your tour of the Charles Dickens museum. Have meant to visit it, during previous visits to London, but it is still pending. Next time perhaps #FarawayFiles

    • May 14, 2017 / 11:04 am

      Well worth adding to your list!

  6. May 14, 2017 / 12:41 pm

    What a neat museum. Definitely looks worth a visit!

  7. October 10, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    How are visiting houses of other great men disappointments? This house definitely looks lovely, although I can’t imagine Charles Dickens eating off of a plate with his image on it haha #CityTripping

    • October 10, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Sometimes they are just shells with no feeling of the famous former resident

  8. October 10, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    Ooh, I remember going there almost 10 years ago! I love that they’ve upkept it so well, although I suppose a decade is nothing in the scheme of the building’s life! #CityTripping

    • October 10, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      It is beautifully kept and the cafe is especially fine!

  9. October 12, 2017 / 9:39 am

    I’ve been here once, a few years ago, with work. It was part of the celebrations around Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday . Prince Charles and Camillia were visiting! It was a bit surreal but I really must go back and have a proper nose! Thanks for linking #citytripping

  10. October 12, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Will put it on my “to do” list for our next visit to London! #citytripping

  11. October 12, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    i just love this! Definitely going to check it out! #citytripping

    • October 12, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      Lots of good bookshops nearby too

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