I love visiting the smaller historic places in London, the places that bring people alive and that tell a story. There are many houses in London that have been saved and turned in to museums because of the people that had been living there. The Charles Dickens Museum London is one of them. Half of the way down Doughty street not far from Holborn stands the town house where Charles spent most of his life
“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
You will enter the museum via the house next door, make a note to look next door at the original entrance.
The house had been restored and in every room it shows the stories of Charles dickens life.
Dickens and his wife moved into 48 doughty street in 1837, where they brought up the first three of their ten children.
You will be given a guide book on entrance which you must return on exit. This tells you everything you need to know about Charles residence at Doughty street.
You first enter in to the hall where to will see some of the everyday articles Charles carried in his pockets back in the day , as an avid theatre goer you will see his plastic theatre ticket a chain link coin purse his bag and his matchstick holder.
It’s a real treasure trove of Charles life with original articles and pieces of furniture. Snippets of his life and his character emerge all of the artifacts.
Around the house and you will learn a lot about his inspiration for some of his stories.
You will visit every room of his house including the study where Charles wrote Oliver Twist, Pickwick papers and Nicholas Nickleby.
Charles original desk stands pride of place in the study along with many of his books. To think that this was where Charles dreamed up his wonderful stories fills you with inspiration.
The unfinished picture in the study “Dickens dream” depicts this perfectly. Each character popping up floating around Charles mind, dickens work desk is even in the painting.
Next visit the dining room and where Charles entertained his guests.
In the morning room you will see the marriage certificate of Charlotte and Charles and even the beautiful engagement ring set with seven pieces of turquoise. It is thought that Dickens may have been referring to this in the book David Copperfield. ( a pretty little toy with blue stones)
Later visit the typical Victorian kitchen the scullery washouse and even Dickens cellar, where he kept his very rare Madeira wines.
For a short time you can see the actresses dress from the BBC production of great expectations. Miss Havishams dress is made from pure silk taffeta and tulle and embellished with handmade silk bobbin lace.
The nursery shows a darker side Charles life and reflects his traumatic childhood in the workhouse. A prison grille and other objects marks the effect that it had on Charles writing.
The below miniature shows Charles at the age of 18. It is one of the earliest known portraits of the author.
At the moment the museum is showing an exhibition on the ladybird book of Charles dickens. It shows the amazing illustrations that made the book.
The Charles Dickens Museum London is Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am- 5pm, it’s the perfect place to visit with a few hours to spare. A 10 minute walk from Holborn station makes it easily accessible. Costing just £9 for adults and just £4 for children,
There is even a beautiful tearoom to visit on your stay, serving sandwiches and cakes.
I hope you enjoyed your look around The Charles Dickens Museum London.
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Charles Dickens Museum London.