History, art and culture

Learn about the literary legend; Charles Dickens

There’s probably no other world-famous author whose work is so closely linked with the city of London, than that of Charles Dickens. As the metaphorical mouthpiece of Victorian London, he put pen to paper in priceless prose and won over the city – and the rest of the country for that matter. You’ll recognise some of his most famous works; including ‘David Copperfield’, ‘Great Expectations’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and of course, the much-loved ‘Oliver Twist’, so if you’re looking for things to do in London head to the Charles Dickens Museum to find out more about this literary legend. The life of Charles Dickens Dickens moved to Camden Town in London in 1822, after his family fell on hard times (pardon the pun). But later moved into Number 48 Doughty Street as an adult and father. His Georgian 'house in town', where he lived from 1837 until 1839 remains intact with the writer’s belongings and furniture still standing and was an important place in Dickens’ life. It was here where some of Dickens’ best-loved novels were written, including ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. Explore the Museum The Museum was opened in 1925 and is now the home of the world’s finest collection of Dickens-related artefacts. Visitors to the museum will be able to step back into the Victorian era and learn about how he lived in the early 19th century. You can also see Dickens’s personal possessions such as manuscripts, letters and portraits on display, too. In total, the museum houses over 100,000 items relating to the author! Events at the Museum On the third Saturday of the month, visitors can also enjoy costumed tours of the property (which must be booked in advance), and throughout the year there are also a selection of Dickens walking tours around the city, showing off the many places which inspired his great tales. The guided tour will take you through London’s cobbled back streets, which Dickens once walked, and you will be regaled with the history and legend that surrounds the author. Why not have a drink in his favourite tavern, while you’re at it! The walk costs £8 and lasts approximately two hours, starting from the museum itself, ending at St Paul’s Cathedral. Other Dickens-inspired events held throughout the summer include a Victorian Tea Party on June 14th, where visitors will be able to enjoy high tea inside Dickens’ house and sample freshly baked treats inspired by his wife Catherine Dickens’ cookbook What Shall We Have for Dinner? Take part in Victorian parlour games and a private museum tour as well, and you’ll be set for a great evening. Tickets for the tea party cost £25. If you’re a Francophile, visitors can also celebrate Bastille Day on July 14th and 15th with a costumed reading of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by actor Dominic Gerrard. With well over 200 million copies sold, the novel is not only one of Dickens’ most famous works, but also a game changer in the history of fictional literature. Whichever event you choose to attend, Charles Dickens Museum provides you with plenty of things to do in London – especially in the summer. Plus, you get to explore the life of one of the greatest Victorian authors, so it really is a win win. With The London Pass you can get free entry to the museum. Find out more, here.

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