|Charles Dickens (1812-1870) |
at his writing desk [source]
Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens! Tomorrow, February 7, marks the bicentenary of the birth of one of Britain's most beloved authors. There is a lot going on this month in London to celebrate (go to Dickens2012) and I'd give my eyeteeth to be there, wouldn't you? Since that can't happen, I thought I'd take a virtual tour of some of the important places from Dickens' lifetime and works. Want to come along?
Let's start with his birthplace in Portsmouth, England. It's been a museum since 1904...
|Dickens' birthplace [photo source]|
|Number 48 Doughty Street, London|
The museum (which opened in 1925) holds over 100,000 items including manuscripts, rare editions, personal items, paintings and other visual sources. CLICK HERE for a video that gives you a peek of the museum's public archives.
|Stained glass window from Dickens Museum, London [source]|
Little Dorrit meets St. George... The Church of St. George the Martyr has strong connections with Charles Dickens. The surviving wall of Marshalsea Prison in the Southwark section of London, where Dickens' father was imprisoned for debt, adjoins the north side of the churchyard.
|Original gate arches of Marshalsea Prison wall. [source]|
Dickens himself lived nearby, in Lant Street, in a house that belonged to the Vestry Clerk of St. George’s. This was during the darkest period of Dickens' life when, as a teen, while his father was in debtor's prison, he had to work in the blacking (shoe polish) factory.
Later, he was to set several scenes of the novel Little Dorrit in and around the Church of St. George the Martyr. St. George's has come to be known as "Little Dorrit's Church," because it was where Dickens' young heroine was baptized and later married. Today, her likeness is represented in a corner of the stained-glass window found on the east side of the church.
Where is Dickens buried? Poet's Corner, in Westminster Abbey.
David Copperfield has long been at the top of my list of favorite books. Which is your favorite book by Charles Dickens?
|Click HERE for Library School Journal's excellent LIST|
of books for all ages, written by or about Charles Dickens.