Tuesday 14th February – sixth walk of 2012

This week we went to the Museum of London to look at the ‘Dickens and London’ exhibition which commemorates 200 years since his birth. We planned to meet at Cannon Street but by coincidence meet each other at London Bridge when changing trains.

As it was a nice, sunny, bright day we decided to walk to St Paul’s Cathedral for a coffee on the way to the Museum.  The protesters were still there and the whole area was full of tents and, in fact, had a village feel with library, lounge rooms, food tents and even a piano!  Unfortunately, due to the protesters, the Crypt Cafe was closed. We were really disappointed and decided to carry on walking straight to the Museum and there made the cafe our first stop for coffee and cake!

We purchased our timed tickets for entry into the exhibition. Entry into the Museum is free but the exhibition cost £8.00, £6.00 for concessions.

The exhibition was laid out in sections and set in a dark Victorian setting.  It explained very well Dickens’ childhood and life experiences and how it influenced his writings.  The items in the ‘City’ section included Newgate prison door, Furnival’s Inn watchman’s box and ‘Bleak House’ Manuscript. The ‘Amusement’ section showed many theatrical costumes and drawings.  In the ‘Home’ section was his writing desk and an animated adaptation of the ‘Dickens’s Dream’ painting. Manuscripts of Dombey and Son and David Copperfield were shown in the ‘Modern’ and ‘Life and Death’ sections.

The exhibition concluded with a film ‘The Houseless Shadow’.  This was a short film inspired by Dickens’s essay ‘Night Walks’ of 1860 and showed night life in London 2011.  It was really interesting and showed how life of the homeless in London compares after 200 years.

I found this a good and worthwhile exhibition which gave a clear, interesting, well documented insight into the life of Charles Dickens.

We left the Museum and after much debate decided to walk to St Paul’s Underground. There we got a bus to London Bridge and caught our trains home.

A very enjoyable day helped by the bright sunny weather.

Our plan for next week is to visit the Fire Bridge Museum.

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