I had wanted to visit the Charles Dickens Museum for a while and I finally managed to make it happen last week. I can now say I stood in the room where Oliver Twist was written. I loved the film when I was a child, watching it almost weekly, so being able to see where it was written was a pleasure.
The Museum is located in the house where Dickens lived with his wife and her sister. What I enjoyed about it was that you were allowed to walk around everything. There was no roped off area inside the door of the room, looking on from a distance.
As I went on a Thursday it was quiet and I almost had the house to myself, allowing me as much time as I wanted in each room. You are also allowed to take photos if you turn the flash off, which isn’t always allowed.
There was a tinge of sadness to the house as it was where his wife’s sister died aged 17. Dickens took a ring from her lifeless finger and wore it in memory of her for the rest of his life.
The house comprises a basement with kitchen and servants quarters. The rest of the house is then spread over 3 floors. The Museum continues into the house next door also offering further insight into the great man.
I have to admit that I am lagging behind in my Dickens reading list but like most people I’m aware of his work more from TV and movies. I have found that some copies of his work can be hard to follow and in very small print, so I think it helps to find a copy you are comfortable reading.
I’m glad I took the time to see where he lived, it is a lovely house, although the rooms are quite small in an area of London I wouldn’t normally go to which made a nice change.