Dickens’s home reopens after revamp
A £3.1 million revamp of a former home of Charles Dickens, aimed at giving the impression that the great author has just “stepped outside”, has been unveiled.
The Charles Dickens Museum, in Bloomsbury, central London, family home to the 19th century genius between 1837 and 1839, will reopen on Monday after undergoing major renovation work.
Visitors will be able to tour the house where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby and finished writing The Pickwick Papers, stripped as far as possible of modern additions and restored to its original condition.
The Great Expectations project, funded largely through the Heritage Lottery Fund, has also restored neighbouring 49 Doughty Street to include a visitor and learning centre and a cafe, welcoming regular school trips for the first time.
Visitors will be able to tour Dickens’s dining room, complete with place names for famous visitors such as William Macready, the great Shakespearian actor of the time. and to see Dickens’s marriage licence. His original writing desk and his reading desk, designed by himself, are among a series of items and documents on display.
The museum includes photographs on display to the public for the first time of the 1865 railway accident in Staplehurst, Kent, in which Dickens was involved. It will also include costumes from the recent adaptation of Great Expectations, including Helena Bonham Carter’s Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes’s Magwitch costumes.
The redesign, which opens the attic and kitchen of the house for the first time, has transformed the museum, first opened in 1925, from being viewed by visitors as “atmospheric but tired and slightly shabby” to reflecting the house in its original state, director Florian Schweizer said.
He said the redesign included detailed work studying the wallpapers of the time portrayed in paintings and illustrations. The museum does not use traditional signs – instead using booklets, modelled on the instalments written by Dickens and audio guides for visitors. He added that the museum intended to convey the “ingrained” theatrical side to Dickens’s nature and his taste for bright clothing.
The house is now accessible to wheelchair users in all areas apart from the top floor – with touch screens available for viewing this area on the floor below. The renovation comes in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dickens in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Beach Boys lyric or Qantas route? - July 22, 2019
- Would you be happy sharing your local woodland with top predators? - July 18, 2019
- 6 common suncare mistakes not to make this summer - July 15, 2019
- Thai Fragrant Coconut King Prawn Curry - July 15, 2019
- I’m Over 50, so what are my Life Insurance options? - July 15, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!