The History of London and the Dickens Museum

Today was quite interesting, being that it was filled with a barrage of information about the progression of London beginning with Roman’s settling and the spread of the English language. I never realized how much history lied beneath the streets I was walking on. I feel like every step I took had some sort of historical relevance to the progression of the city. What really peaked my interest the most was how much damage the fire of 1666 caused, which of course held even more history within the architecture and written records. I feel like we’re still missing a piece of London’s history. Also, this event reminded me of when General Sherman set fire to Atlanta in 1864. The result wasn’t nearly as bad as London, but the idea of having to rebuilding an entire city is mind-boggling.

Another beautiful site to see was the cathedral where Charles Dickens father was married. After taking the guided walking tour, I can see why Dickens was inspired to write books such as Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, because the city gives off this special aura of curiosity and mystery. The amount of culture and ideas that were hidden within the city was uncanny.

Walking through London, even though much has changed over the years, I was still able to visualize the descriptions of the city in Dickens’ novels (especially the alleyways).

The Dickens museum put everything into perspective for me. Seeing the actually room, desk and chair Dickens sat in to write Oliver Twist was surreal. At only 24, he was able to construct one of Britain’s most popular pieces of literature. Seeing the timeline of his life laid out across the room on the 5th floor, really inspired me (disregarding the divorce) because Dickens had accomplished so many things in his short lived life.

Although I have a pretty good sense of where Dickens drew his inspiration from, I hope to further explore parts of (East London) to grasp a better idea of what the slums were like back when Dickens was a boy.

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