Dickens House Museum contains the world's foremost collection
of documentation and memorabilia relating to the great novelist.
Charles Dickens had many London
homes, but this is the only one to survive. He and his
family lived in this Georgian terraced house from 1837-39.
This was one of the novelist's most productive periods with
'Oliver Twist', 'Nicholas Nickleby' and 'Barnaby Rudge'
being written here, and 'Pickwick Papers' completed.
In 1923 the house was acquired
by the Dickens Fellowship and in 1925 opened as a museum.
Only the first-floor drawing
room of this well-designed museum has been restored to its
appearance in Dickens' time. Some pieces of furniture
have been accumulated from the novelist's other London homes.
The rest of the house has a varied
collection of items associated with the writer, including
papers and letters, some dating from 1824 when Dickens' father
was imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea Prison. On the walls
are portraits of the Dickens and his family, as well as illustrations
of his stories.
The basement contains the most
comprehensive Dickens library in the world, with first editions
of many of the novelist's best-known works. There is
also an important research facility.
Visitors can watch a video that
details Dickens' great professional success and his troubled
private life, including his strained relations with his wife
Displays on the upper floors
reveal Dickens' other great passion, the stage. A renowned
theatrical producer, director and actor, Dickens was a celebrity
during his lifetime. The posters, pictures and other
items on display here give an insight into Dickens' life outside
The Dickens House Museum is one
of the few London venues open over Christmas itself, with
special Christmas events 24 - 26 December.