London Museum Hosts Dickens Exhibition
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
A London museum is celebrating the life and work of Charles Dickens.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the author's birth, the Museum of London is hosting a new exhibition which aims to give visitors a taste of the city's landscape during Dickens's time.
Many of his novels focus on social inequalities and the gap between rich and poor in Victorian Britain, and this is a central theme of the Dickens and London exhibition.
The displays include the doors from Newgate prison, which were famously associated with the Gordon riots and linked to Dickens's description of the mob breaking into the prison in Barnaby Rudge.
Other highlights include the original manuscript of Bleak House, which contains some of Dickens's most famous writing in its opening passages describing the fog enveloping London.
The exhibition runs until June 10, 2012, giving fans plenty of time to start looking for short stay apartments in London.
Curator Alex Werner told Channel 4: 'The exhibition attempts to place Dickens in relation to the city that was his inspiration. He used to pace its streets at night, absorbing their character, and he used to build the plots of his novels at the same time.'
Discussing Dickens's role as a social commentator, Mr Werner added: 'A book like A Christmas Carol goes to the heart of society - a lot of very, very wealthy people, a lot of poor people.
'In that book Dickens is talking about how it is possible to transform your life and change your attitude, and think a bit more about those less well off than yourself.
'His message was very clear: there were real problems in society at that period. For instances the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, a moment of national celebration. Dickens didn't like the Great Exhibition, and his response to that was Bleak House.
'He said: 'You've got to look on your doorstep. There is incredible poverty in the city. What are you doing about it?' It's a real indictment of government and society.'
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