Another museum I visited on my “One-year-in-London-Anniversary-Day” was the Charles Dickens museum.
I’m not sure if the first of Charles Dickens’ stories that I came across as a child was “A Christmas Carol” or “Oliver Twist” but they both stuck with me as I grew up and read more of his novels as well as watching many of the television shows and movies based from them. In University during my English Literature courses I studied “David Copperfield” and loved it; it was particularly interesting because it was the book most closely based on Dickens’ own life, and like many of his works, gives the reader a glimpse into the realities of life during England in the Victorian Era. He wrote about the good and the appalling, and was a social critic in part because of the events of his own early life.
The kitchen and scullery were equally fascinating. The first thing I noticed was the little pretend hedgehog by the fireplace, I thought it was cute and slightly odd. Then I read that hedgehogs were sometimes kept in Victorian kitchens in order to keep the place hygienic; they ate the bugs that got in!
The study for Dickens and sitting room for his wife Catherine were also full of interesting information about their domestic life and actual objects and furniture that they owned and used; for example, Dickens’ writing desk, which he used when writing “A Tale of Two Cities”, “Great Expectations” and “Our Mutual Friend”.