Charles Dickens London

I’ve got a little trip coming up for Amy’s birthday and was browsing around on airbnb. We’re hoping to find a nice little cottage in Santa Barbara for a few days.

Anyway, I found their blog and this great post on Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday on February 17, 2012.

Doubtless, the dour Victorian author would have wanted us to celebrate the day exploring the city he loved and hated, London.

Dickens’ London was a magnificent and horrendous place. At the height of the British Empire, London was the envy of the world, by far the most majestic city anywhere. Unimaginable wealth passed through its gates every day.

Charles Dickens Museum

 

The Charles Dickens Museum is in Bloomsbury, right in central London, and is housed in an actual Dickens residence. Visiting it gives you a sense of exactly what it was like to live in Dickens’ house – if that house were stuffed with hundreds of thousands of artifacts, manuscripts, and other historical objects.

Cheshire Cheese

 

With roots going back to the Middle Ages, this pub is tucked away from Fleet Street up a narrow alley. Fans of the pub tout its mention in A Tale of Two Cities, although Dickens never mentions the pub by name. Apparently, though, it’s a great place to grab a pint or two after you’ve been acquitted of treason.

Southwark Cathedral

 

You won’t find this cathedral mentioned anywhere in Dickens’ works. That’s because in his time, it was just a plain ol’ church (named “St Saviour’s”).

The cathedral – one of the oldest churches in London – appears in a classically Dickensian sentence from Oliver Twist: “The tower of old Saint Saviour’s Church, and the spire of Saint Magnus, so long the giant-warders of the ancient bridge, were visible in the gloom.”

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