Dickens Walking Tour and Museum

The theme of the Dickens tour is one I think I will be repeating whenever I discuss London: there is so much old and new interwoven in a massive tapestry of architecture, religion, and technology, and on top of all that there are people living normal lives who don’t have time to stop and “ooh” and “aah” at what seems novel to we American tourists. Many, if not the majority, of buildings have different functions than the began with, which may not seem extraordinary, but it seems noteworthy when what used to be poor neighborhoods are now expensive and what used to be a royal residence on the river is now a modern art gallery.  The only buildings that seem to consistently retain their original use are churches. A reverence is held for them that wouldn’t be for law offices, and certainly not for businesses.

The most striking and probably memorable spot on the tour was the Chapel at Lincoln’s Inn. The memory might be enhanced by the frankly uncomfortable experience of sitting in on a service and leaving after five minutes. It’s not my religion, so I didn’t feel offended, but I felt rude to the few people who were there in earnest for the service. The chapel itself was gorgeous, and I’d never been in a cloistered compound like that before, so it was interesting. I connected that location to the type of place Oliver was left by his mother.

As I side note, the ushers or whatever they were with the staffs reminded me of the beadle.

The Charles Dickens House was what I expected. Maybe it was a let down after seeing the real-life Ms.Havisham house he bought after he was a famous and successful author–from the documentary we watched in class. The importance of this house, over his later mansion, is that we got to see where he developed his concern for the poor. This concern is always what’s most important to me about Dickens–he’s writing with a cause in mind.

More than the furniture, what moved me within his house was the room that displayed quotes about his advocacy for author copyright. As someone trying to become an author, this hit close to home. His dinner sets were nice, but I enjoyed even more being ensconced in his passion of justice.

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