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‘Lost’ Portrait of Charles Dickens goes on display at the Charles Dickens Museum – 2 to 7 April 2019

A recently discovered portrait of Charles Dickens by Margaret Gillies is to be displayed at the Charles Dickens Museum. The ‘lost portrait’ of Charles Dickens was discovered in an auction of household goods in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 2017. Last year, the painting arrived at the Philip Mould & Co Gallery in London and, following conservation and provenance research, was confirmed to be the portrait of Charles Dickens painted by Margaret Gillies over six sittings in 1843, when Dickens was 31 years old and writing A Christmas Carol.

Gillies’ portrait was exhibited at the 1844 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and quickly became the defining image of Dickens. On seeing the portrait, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning said it “has the dust and mud of humanity about him, notwithstanding those eagle eyes”. However, in 1886, Gillies noted that she had ‘lost sight of the portrait itself’. It remained lost until the South African auction and undisplayed until its unveiling at Mould & Co last year.

The Museum is campaigning to raise the funds to secure the future of the painting and bring it permanently to Doughty Street. It has already raised £65,000 of the £180,000 needed to purchase the portrait.

Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

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Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens at the Charles Dickens Museum – 28 November 2018 to 22 April 2019


Food is often an important ingredient in Dickens’s stories and a new exhibition entitled Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens investigates Dickens’s relationship with food and the epic menus of dishes and drinks served by the Dickens family to their many guests. It shows his dinner parties full of activity, wit, comedy and people and their peculiarities were essential food for his imagination.

The exhibition also examines the deep-lying reason for Dickens’s need to entertain and share food, his hidden childhood memories of hunger and his belief, made clear in his stories, that rich and poor alike had the right to enjoy food and drink and that children deserved the security of proper meals.

The Food Glorious Food exhibition will be displayed throughout the rooms in which Charles Dickens and his family lived, entertained countless friends and hosted dinner parties for some of the most influential and interesting members of Victorian society.

The exhibition will feature household culinary items used by Dickens and will draw on letters and first hand accounts by Dickens’s dinner guests to build a vivid picture of the experience of enjoying dinner with Dickens.

Among the exhibits is a previously-unseen letter from 1849, written by novelist Elizabeth Gaskell giving a detailed description of a dinner at Dickens’s home.

Other exhibits include:

A groaning Victorian dining table, set for dessert and featuring items used by Dickens and his family when hosting social gatherings at home 

Charles Dickens’s large wooden lemon squeezer used to prepare his favourite punch recipes

Hand-written dinner invitations from Dickens to his friends

Dickens’s hand-written 1865 inventory of the contents of his wine cellar at Gad’s Hill Place (among the items to be found in Dickens’s cellar in 1865 were ‘one 50 gallon cask ale’, ‘one 18 gallon cask gin’, ‘one 9 gallon cask brandy’ and ‘one 9 gallon cask rum’. The cellar also included dozens of bottles of champagne, Chablis, Sauterne, Metternich hock, claret, L’eau d’or and Kirsch)

An extremely rare early edition of a fascinating cookbook written by Catherine Dickens – wife of Charles – in the early 1850s, entitled What Shall We Have For Dinner? filled with meals and menus (‘bills of fare’) created by Catherine to put before gatherings of between two and twenty people, all aiming to answer the title of the book

A silver-plated samovar owned by Dickens and used at his home at Gad’s Hill Place

Dickens’s heavy silver fish-knife, engraved with a fish design and the monogram ‘CD’

A set of 6 silver punch ladles presented to Dickens to celebrate the completion of Pickwick Papers, each featuring a character from the novel

Dickens’s wooden bread board

The exhibition’s guest co-curator is Pen Vogler, author of Dinner with Dickens: Recipes inspired by the life and work of Charles Dickens, published by CICO books. The book celebrates Victorian food and recreates the dishes which Dickens wrote about and served.

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Charles Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote Great Expectations.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Dickens After Dark: A Hallowe’en Special at the Charles Dickens Museum – featuring The Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria

For a very different Hallowe’en experience, take a trip the Victorian home of Charles Dickens for A  Hallowe’en Special after dark. Explore the mysteries of the future with a Tarot reading from the fortune teller in the basement. As guests move through the historic house, actor Dominic Gerrard will be performing best loved Victorian horror story extracts from The Signalman, The Monkey’s Paw, The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber, The Ensouled Violin, Captain Murderer, Porphyria’s Lover & John Charrington’s Wedding. Performed in the shadows, with a live underscore, these stories will delight and fright.

For an added touch of Hallowe’en magic, tickets can be upgraded to include a Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria by internationally renowned performers Jeremy and Carolyn Brooker. At the heart of the shows will be an authentic triunial magic lantern from 1880-90, the rarest and most complex device, combining three projectors in one. This will be a bizarre and fantastical celebration of goblins, ghosts and the downright weird.

Date: 25 October; Timed entry from 6pm. Tickets: £20; £25 (incl. magic lantern show).  Recommended suitable for ages 18+

Weekend of Magic Lantern shows – A Grand Magic Lantern Show (family show) and A Grand Gothic Magic Lantern Phantasmagoria

Amidst his fascination with science, Dickens was a great lover of the visual spectacle created by the magic lantern shows that he enjoyed as a boy; he also adored a good ghost story. The Museum presents a weekend of special magic lantern shows from internationally renowned performers Jeremy and Carolyn
Brooker, combining these two passions. At the heart of the two very different shows will be an authentic triunial magic lantern from 1880-90, the rarest and most complex device, combining three projectors in one. This will be a fast-paced, seasonal celebration of goblins, ghosts and the downright weird, featuring
the most spectacular effects the lantern can produce; an entertainment for children and families including acrobat pigs, exploding volcanoes and the most famous of all magic lantern illusions, the Man who Eats Rats.

Dates: Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October at 11am (family show), 12 noon (family show), 1.30pm (Phantasmagoria show), 3pm (Phantasmagoria show).
Tickets: From £6 – £16.50 from dickensmuseum.com.

Charles Dickens Museum is at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens related material, including the desk at which he wrote his later novels, including Great Expectations, A
Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Exhibition Review : Expectations of the Past by Louise Weir at the Charles Dickens Museum – 13th March to 29th April 2018

One of Charles Dickens’s most celebrated stories is the inspiration for new exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum. The exhibition entitled Expectations of the Past by Louise Weir is a collection of new work inspired by a combination of the locations, characters and themes of Great Expectations and the artist’s own history.

The exhibition presents Weir’s personal investigation through a combination of paintings, sketches and poetry. The artist followed in Dickens’s footsteps and travelled to the locations that were featured in Great Expectations. Starting at Gravesend and the Kent marshes, Weir began at St James’ Church at Cooling, Dickens’s inspiration for Pip’s first terrifying graveyard encounter with the escaped convict, Magwitch, which begins the book.

The artist’s sketches capture the often foreboding nature of the landscape that provided ideal backdrop to the shocking meeting between Magwitch and Pip.

The exploration of the landscapes of Great Expectations became far more personal journey with the untimely death of the artist’s father. From that point some of the novel’s themes of childhood memories and an atmosphere of loss are intertwined with the artist’s personal response to her loss.

Some of the sketchbooks, drawings and equipment in the exhibition demonstrate Weir’s creative process which often used the very elements of the landscape she was trying to capture;  grasses, seed-pods, flowers, feathers, earth and water from streams connecting landscape to painting.  

This small interesting exhibition explores how ‘Dickensian’ characters and landscapes provide inspiration for artists to pursue their own projects. Louise Weir’s characters in the paintings are often like ghosts haunting the landscape. In many ways, this reflects the works of Dickens which are so ingrained into our culture that we often see ‘Dickensian’ characters as part of everyday life .

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Charles Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote Great Expectations. Alongside Weir’s work, the exhibition will feature an original first edition of Great Expectations from the Museum’s collection.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Expectations of the Past at Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

Exhibition dates: 13 March – 29 April 2018

Museum admission prices (inc. exhibition): Adults £9; Concessions £7; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00-17.00 (last admission 16.00).

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Expectations of the Past by Louise Weir at the Charles Dickens Museum – 13th March to 29th April 2018

An artist takes her own personal artistic investigation into one of Charles Dickens’s most celebrated stories in a new exhibition opening at the Charles Dickens Museum in March . The exhibition entitled Expectations of the Past by Louise Weir is a collection of new work inspired by a combination of the locations, characters and themes of Great Expectations and the artist’s own history. 

The exhibition presents a combination of paintings, sketches and poetry, the results of a project which began when Louise Weir was inspired to follow in Dickens’s footsteps and travel to the locations that informed Great Expectations. Heading for Gravesend and the Kent marshes, Louise Weir began at St James’ Church at Cooling, Dickens’s inspiration for Pip’s first terrifying graveyard encounter with the escaped convict, Magwitch, which begins the book. Louise Weir’s sketches capture the imposing nature of the looming landscape, the backdrop to the shocking meeting, while repeated visits to the Kentish sites led to a deeper exploration of the novel’s atmosphere.

What began as an exploration of the landscapes of Great Expectations became far more personal on the untimely death of Louise Weir’s father. From that point onwards, her work began to include poetry and to be imbued with childhood memories and an atmosphere of loss.

The sketchbooks and drawings in the exhibition demonstrate Weir’s creative process. Her work incorporates the very elements of the landscape she was capturing; at each place, she collected new items – grasses, seed-pods, flowers, feathers, earth – and used them as drawing materials. She took water from streams, mixed mud with paint, let rain fall on the artwork, pressed flowers and printed with them.

The exhibition also draws on Louise Weir’s own encounters with all sorts of ‘Dickensian’ characters in her childhood, growing up in a village pub in Cheshire. Louise Weir said, “The characters in Great Expectations really reminded me of all the people I grew up with – blacksmiths, farmers, really good, honest people like Joe Gargery. There were a lot of ‘Dickensian’ characters in my parents’ pub! Also, I feel a real affinity with Pip – I was desperate to leave my home village and I recognise the feeling of just needing to get away and re-invent yourself. The exhibition is about the events in Great Expectations and those in my life and, sometimes, not being able to distinguish between them. I’m creating this landscape that’s not really Dickens, it’s not really me – it’s this place that exists in between. I’m creating a make-believe space, somewhere where there are ghosts.”

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Charles Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote Great Expectations. Alongside Weir’s work, the exhibition will feature an original first edition of Great Expectations from the Museum’s collection.

Expectations of the Past at Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX

Exhibition dates: 13 March – 29 April 2018

Museum admission prices (inc. exhibition): Adults £9; Concessions £7; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00-17.00 (last admission 16.00).

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Exhibition Review – Restless Shadow: Dickens the Campaigner at the Charles Dickens Museum from 9th May to 29th October 2017

Whilst many people will be familiar with Charles Dickens as a novelist who addressed social ills, in his fiction. Less well known is his work as a journalist and activist who campaigned to improve the lives of the most desperate and forgotten people in Victorian society.

The latest exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum entitled Restless Shadow explores Dickens’s work to achieve social justice and his connections to other Victorian reformers such as Florence Nightingale and Angela Burdett-Coutts.

It was as a young journalist under the pen name ‘Boz‘ that Dickens developed his skills of investigative reporting and satirical exposé. It was these skills that would prove invaluable when he launched his astonishingly broad range of campaigns.

The Restless Shadow focuses in particular on Dickens’s campaigning on homelessness; workhouses for the poor; schools and schooling; conditions in the armed forces and for veterans; and prisons and punishment, including his opposition to the death penalty. It also shows how Dickens’s investigative reporting informed his fiction, for example, in Fagin’s sentencing and Bill Sikes’s accidental hanging in Oliver Twist.

At the heart of this exhibition is the monthly journal, All The Year Round, which Dickens founded in 1859. It provided Dickens with the ideal vehicle to trasform magazine articles into calls for action.

As editor, Dickens published others’ contributions to All The Year Round anonymously. For more than a century, researchers were unable to prove their authorship. Then, in 2014, Dr Jeremy Parrott discovered a unique set of volumes annotated with contributors’ names. This is the first time that Dr Parrott’s discovery has been on display to the public. It reveals the identities of the men and women whom Dickens gave a platform to write on the most vital and controversial issues of the day.

Other highlights of the exhibition include Dickens’s editorial chair, and his walking stick from the 1860s. He used the stick to walk huge distances exploring London’s streets by day and night seeing himself as a witness to the suffering of those in society who were generally ignored by those in positions of power.

This intriguing small exhibition is free with general admission to the museum and provides plenty of evidence how Dickens looked for practical solutions to the social ills of Victorian society. His life and journalist career had exposed him to the reality of everyday life and prevented him being seduced by more idealistic solutions. Many of the charities he supported were those who provided practical support to those in need including Hospital for Sick Children (now Great Ormond Street Hospital), the Foundling Hospital (now Coram), Field Lane School and the Artists’ Benevolent Fund.

When Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street, he was a little known writer, still using his pen-name, Boz. By the time he left, he was an international superstar, having finished The Pickwick Papers and written both Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby at the house. The rooms are still filled with the furniture Dickens bought for the house – most of the fireplaces, doors, locks, window shutters and fittings are his. The Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related objects.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Dog’s Nose and Shandygaff: Drinks at the Charles Dickens Museum – 16th February 2017

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Explore the works of Charles Dickens through delving into his wine cellar at a special event at the Charles Dickens Museum on the 16th February.

The event marks the arrival at the Museum of Dickens’s handwritten 1865 inventory of the contents of his cellar at Gad’s Hill Place in Kent, which Dickens bought in 1856 and where he lived until his death in 1870. The list, on loan from a private collector, is now on display in the Drawing Room at the Museum.

 Among the items to be found in Dickens’s cellar in 1865 were ‘one 50 gallon cask ale’, ‘one 18 gallon cask gin’, ‘one 9 gallon cask brandy’ and ‘one 9 gallon cask rum’. The cellar also included dozens of bottles of champagne, Chablis, Sauterne, Metternich hock, claret, L’eau d’or and Kirsch.

Charles Dickens Museum has teamed up with the London Gin Club to create some of the ‘wonderful inventions’ found in Dickens’s stories and in the recipes of his family, including the likes of Champagne Cup, Dog’s Nose, gin punch and Sherry Cobbler.

Dickens’s novels are full of references and descriptions of drink and its effects, including hot mulled drinks, Smoking Bishop (port, red wine, fruit, sugar and spices) and negus (port, hot water, sugar and spices) in A Christmas Carol, Dog’s Nose (porter, gin, sugar and spice) makes an appearance in The Pickwick Papers and Martin Chuzzlewit enjoys a Sherry Cobbler cocktail. 

Whilst Dickens enjoyed the contents of his cellar, he was fully aware of the way that over indulgence added to terrible living conditions and health of the poor of London. 

The event will include tasting sessions and talks by the London Gin Club, a bar with a special menu of forgotten cocktails and an opportunity to take a tour of Dickens’s home. And historical British street food masters, What the Dickens, will serve up a variety of snacks inspired by Catherine Dickens’s published cookbook What Shall We Have For Dinner? An extremely rare 1852 edition of the book, written by Catherine under the pen name ‘Lady Maria Clutterbuck, is on display in the Museum. 

The Charles Dickens Museum holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material and the house has changed little since Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street. The rooms are still filled with the furniture he bought and most of the fireplaces, doors, locks, window shutters and fittings are still in place as they were when the family resided there.  

Visitor Information:

Dog’s Nose & Shandygaff Event : Thursday 16 February. 

Timed entry from 6-8pm. Bar closes at 9pm. 

Admission price: £20 per person. 

All ticket holders must be minimum 18 years of age and able to produce ID if required.

Charles Dickens Museum Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm). 

Admission prices: Adults £9; Concessions £6; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free.

Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here