Yesterday (8th December), Millman Street Resources Centre members enjoyed a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum in nearby Doughty Street. As some members noted, several places have a claim on the author of Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, Great Expectations and Scrooge, though the Dickens Museum London features letters, pictures, furniture, first editions and other memorabilia.
Ivy lives nearby the Museum and has visited it since she was a child said: “When I was little it was really creepy, but now they’ve made it really pleasant. As a girl, Dad used to read us Dickens’ stories.”
Noting the realistic-looking wooden seasonal food and nuts on display, she said. “It looks authentic. You’d think people were living there.”
Pam also enjoyed the visit. A great one for history, she had been to the museum before, but still finds it “very interesting. I enjoy reading Dickens’ work.”
Ivy found the “arrangement of curtains lovely. The four-poster bed was really classy. The sideboard must have cost a fortune.” She also noted that the gift shop had “loads of books and keyrings” and other souvenirs for sale.
Neither Edward nor Margaret were able to attend on this occasion, though the latter had been before, as a home care with a friend. She also recalled a family heirloom, a decanter in the shape of a Dickens statuette. “It was about 80 or 90 years old,” she said. She had planned to donate it to the museum, but “someone dropped it and it broke.”
Of the domestic life of the man himself, Ivy opined that, “They reckon he was a bit of a tyrant and ruled with an iron fist.” But she also said, “In those days life must have been very hard. He bettered himself, and bought houses all over the place.”
She has always been a big fan of Dickens. “It takes me back to memories of my father reading to me,” she said. She added that she thought she was “born too late; I’d have loved to have lived in Dickens’ time. To see how the other half lived in those days.”