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Exhibition Review- Global Dickens: For Every Nation Upon Earth at the Charles Dickens Museum from 14th May to 3rd November 2019

A new exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum explores the global appeal of the famous author and the impact of his considerable travels on his life and writing. In an age when a ‘viral’ picture can travel around the world in seconds, it is worth considering how difficult it was for a 19th century writer to have global appeal. Whilst it was possible for writers to achieve fame around the British Empire, to sell books in other parts of world was difficult due to a number of factors.

This exhibition provides evidence that although Dickens is considered a quintessentially British writer obsessed by London, the reality was his work influenced people all around the globe. Unlike many 19th century writers, Dickens travelled extensively across Britain, Europe and America and both wrote about these places but also gave talks and performances creating a new type of international celebrity.

These travels were not without their problems, his criticism of American society in Martin Chuzzlewit and in his travelogue American Notes caused a considerable backlash, remarkably he returned to America many years later and was more popular than ever.

The exhibition features a hand written letter from Dickens to his friend William Macready in 1868 describing his impressions of Niagara Falls.

Part of Dickens appeal was his stories often had universal themes which were used and adapted in many different cultures. The exhibition give some idea of the way that Dickens has been used for inspiration ranging from Manga comics to numerous films, Dickens remains the most adapted writer of all time for TV and film.

The exhibition features a Russian poster for a theatre production based on Dickens, A poster for a production of Edwin Drood starring Claude Rains, and a Dutch translation of Dombey and Son.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a copy of David Copperfield that went to the Antarctic on the 1910 Scott expedition. Its grubbiness indicates that it was well used by those on the ill fated expedition.

This fascinating small exhibition offers an opportunity to consider Dickens as one of the earliest global celebrities, his fame is not restricted to the past with many Dickens festivals still being held all over the world. Dickens never limited himself but was fascinated by his travels and used his journalistic and creative powers to provide his readers with stories of the world outside of Britain. In a fast changing world, Dickens often provided a record of the effects of major political and social changes in a number of countries.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Visitors to the exhibition are free to explore the Charles Dickens Museum, 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.
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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

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.
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Review – Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens at the Charles Dickens Museum from 28 November 2018 to 22 April 2019

The Charles Dickens Museum provides evidence of Dickens’s enduring influence on the celebration of the festive season when every year, Dickens’s home is dressed for a Victorian Christmas.

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 explores the epic menus of dishes and drinks served by the Dickens family to their many guests. The exhibition also examines how Dickens’s childhood memories of hunger led to him being a generous host of many dinner parties for some of the most influential and interesting members of Victorian society.

In the London townhouse into which Dickens moved with his growing family in 1837, the exhibition uses many of the family rooms to illustrate the influence of food in many Dickens novels.

In the upstairs exhibition gallery is a series of letters which provide first hand accounts by Dickens’s dinner guests that illustrate the experience of enjoying dinner with Dickens. Fellow novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell writes a letter giving a detailed description of a dinner at Dickens’s home.

Upstairs in the nursery is a reminder that the hardship of Dickens’s own childhood and the poverty influenced his writing most notably in Oliver Twist.

The exhibition examines some of the excesses of Victorian dining and often strange recipe combinations. The full dining table showcases a number of culinary delights that were often featured in novels.

A visit to the kitchen downstairs provides some insight into some of the ‘food scandals’ of the Victorian age, food was adulterated to extend its reach which led to acorns passing as coffee, plum leaves for tea leaves and the wholesale watering-down of milk and beer. The often ‘toxic’ ingredients sold indicate that food safety was in its infancy and became one of Dickens causes to fight for reforms.

A visit to the Charles Dickens Museum in the festive season is always a pleasure and a reminder of the enduring influence of Dickens on modern Christmas celebrations. The fascinating Food Glorious Food: Dinner with Dickens exhibition gives a wider perspective on how food provided links to Dickens childhood and inspired some of the most memorable scenes in his novels.

Whilst at the museum, you can find out about the campaign to raise £180,000 in order to secure the portrait of Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) by Margaret Gillies for the nation, bringing it into the Museum’s permanent collection and placing it on public display. The portrait was thought to have been lost for more than 150 years until it was rediscovered in South Africa in late 2017. If you would like to donate, find a link here

Address: Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX
Exhibition dates: 28 November 2018 – 22 April 2019

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the Charles Dickens Museum, 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
here

 

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
here

 

Exhibition Review – Charles Dickens: Man of Science at the Charles Dickens Museum from 24th May to 11th November 2018

The Charles Dickens Museum presents a new exhibition entitled Charles Dickens: Man of Science that challenges the long held belief that Dickens had little interest in science.

The misconception about Dickens and science can be traced back to writer George Henry Lewes who when he saw Dickens’s library at Doughty Street in 1839, he declared him ‘completely outside philosophy, science, and the higher literature’.

However by drawing on his novels, journalism, letters and exchanges with friends, the exhibition illustrates that Dickens saw science as a potential force for good especially regarding curing disease and creating a cleaner and more healthy environment.

The exhibition reveals Dickens links to some of the greatest scientists and reformers of the day including Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Ada Lovelace, Mary Anning, Florence Nightingale and many more.

A little known aspect of Dickens is that his acute observations were sometimes used by the medical profession to aid diagnosis. A small wax figure of the ‘fat boy’ in Pickwick Papers is a reminder that his work was used by doctors in the 1950s when they were looking at why obese people sleep more than normal.

Dickens was fascinated by optical technologies and the exhibition features his telescope and a magic lantern. 

Although Dickens was believer in mesmerism or animal magnetism, he did not believe in Spiritualism and would often join with others to expose tricks used by those who wished to exploit the ‘vulnerable’. The exhibition includes a version of Pepper’s ghost which uses glass to create the illusion of a ghost. John Henry Pepper was a professor at The Royal Polytechnic Institute where he saw in 1862, inventor Henry Dircks Phantasmagoria which was an optical illusion to make a ghost appear on-stage. Pepper realized that the method could be used to incorporate into existing theatres. Pepper first showed the effect during a scene of Charles Dickens’s The Haunted Man, to great success.

This fascinating small exhibition illustrates that far from having no interest in science, Dickens used many of the latest scientific developments in his writing. Dickens had an extraordinary ability to observe some of smallest details of everyday life, but also saw the bigger picture. Whilst pointing out some of the human cost of the rapid industrialisation of the 19th century, Dickens had some faith that medical advances and scientific knowledge could have some beneficial benefits if practical uses could be found.

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The  Charles Dickens: Man of Science exhibition runs from 24 May – 11 November 2018 at the Charles Dickens Museum and is included in the admission ticket to the museum.

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. 

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
here

All you need to know about the Epsom Derby – 4th June 2016

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On the 4th June we see the 237th running of the Epsom Derby, it is Britain’s richest horse race with is worth £1.325 million in prize money. It has been run at the Epsom Downs for all its 237th runnings except for the war years when the race was run at Newmarket.

Run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards, and is scheduled for early June each year. It is a Group 1 flat horse race in England open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies and due to the difficulty of the undulations of the racecourse is considered the ultimate test for horse and jockey.

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The origins of the Derby was in a meeting between the Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury, according to legend it was decided that a major new race would be named by the toss of a coin. The Earl of Derby won and the rest is history. The first running of the Derby was held in 1780. It was won by Diomed, a colt that was owned ironically by Sir Charles Bunbury, the first four runnings were contested over 1 mile, but this was changed to the current distance of 1½ miles in 1784.

In the 19th century, Derby Day was almost a holiday in London with huge crowds travelling from the Capital, not only for the race but also enjoy all the other entertainment available on the Epsom Downs. When Charles Dickens visited Epsom Downs in the 1850s he wrote about the numerous entertainers entertaining the crowds.

(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Derby Day by William Powell Firth – 1858 (Victoria and Albert Museum)

A William Powell Frith painting entitled The Derby Day gives a some indication of some of the visitors to the Downs, latter in the 19th century a fair with steam driven rides was a popular attraction.

The 1913 Derby produced the most sensational race in its entire history. A protesting suffragette, Miss Emily Davison brought down the King’s horse by running onto the course at Tattenham Corner, she later died of her injuries.

In the latter part of the 20th Century, Derby Day, the unofficial holiday for Londoners was curtailed by people having to work in the week, therefore a decision was made in 1995 to move the race from Wednesday to Saturday in 1995. The race has been won by some of the greatest flat horses including Seabird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Shergar and Galileo.

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The modern Derby Day is still a spectacle with plenty of entertainment, but is centred more around the race itself and the Oaks the day before. Known as the Investec Derby Festival it has became a mixture of Classic horse racing and fashion.

If you are considering attending the race there is a number of traditions you need to be aware.

Each enclosure on the course will have a separate ticket price and rules related to dress code.

The most expensive enclosure is the Queen’s Stand, The Queen’s Stand is on the finishing line and above the weighing room with viewing of the Winner’s Circle. You can access the Parade Ring viewing and follow horses all the way to the track before taking up a stop to watch the race on the stepping or the Queen’s Stand Lawn.

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Dress code for the Queen’s Stand on Investec Derby Day is:

Either black or grey morning dress with a top hat, service dress or full national costume is obligatory for gentlemen on Investec Derby Day

Ladies must wear formal day dress, or a tailored trouser suit, with a hat or substantial fascinator

Children should be dressed smartly

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The next enclosure is the Grandstand, where the Duchess’s Stand is located, provides an relaxed atmosphere to view the racing from the bookmakers’ ring and extensive stepping to take in all the action.

There are also a number of reserved seats for the Investec Derby Festival which you can book with your admission ticket for the day and this will guarantee you a seat for the day. The Grandstand gives you additional access to the Paddock and Bookmakers’ facilities.

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Dress code for the Grandstand is :

Guests are required to dress up for the Investec Derby Festival

No sportswear, sleeveless vests, shorts or bare tops

Smart denim must not have tears or rips

Guests must not wear sports trainers

Children should be dressed smartly

Grandstand Hospitality areas on both days

Gentlemen must wear a jacket, collar, ties are encouraged

Ladies are asked to wear a fascinator or hat

Children should be dressed smartly

Fancy dress is not acceptable in the Queen’s Stand or Duchess’s Stand during the Investec Derby Festival.

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If you are looking for a less formal enclosure you have the following :

The Family Enclosure On The Hill is a relatively new enclosure designed to provide families with the opportunity to enjoy the renowned atmosphere of the Downs in a safe, family friendly environment.

Opposite the main stands the Lonsdale Enclosure is the grass enclosure where you can get right up the rails to see the horse thunder past.  This is a very popular enclosure as you’re right in front of the all the action in the stands.

Food and drink for own consumption can be taken into this area

Another enclosure is the Upper Tattenham Enclosure.  With a trackside view all the way down to the pivotal Tattenham Corner, betting facilities and opportunity see the event in front of you it represents excellent value.

Food and drink for own consumption can be brought into this area.

Ticket prices

Queen’s Stand £125

Grandstand (Duchess’s Stand) £60

Grandstand Reserved Seating – Total  £135

Lonsdale Enclosure – £35

The Upper Tattenham Enclosure – £30

Family Enclosure – £15 to 25

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Epsom Racecourse 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 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

Review : Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum -1st December 2015 to 6th January 2016

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As December begins and the shops go into Christmas overdrive, we decided to look for the Spirit of Christmas Past. In London, the only place to find a true Dickensian Christmas is by following in the footsteps of the great man himself into the London townhouse in which Dickens wrote some of his classic novels. The townhouse is now the Charles Dickens Museum which was dressed for a celebration of a Victorian Christmas; the historic rooms in which Dickens lived and worked while he was making his name are filled with all the decorations, fragrances and sounds of a 19th-century London Christmas.

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The attractive Georgian terrace in Doughty Street offers an attractive façade but walking into the museum is a step back in time into the Victorian period that Dickens was to illuminate with his novels. The museum occupies two of the townhouse terrace houses, visitors enter through No. 49 Doughty Street and through to No. 48 which was the home of Dickens in 1837. No 48 has been beautifully restored, however it still remains a family home and when you enter the various rooms, you have sense that the occupants could be returning at any moment.

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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.  From the attic to the kitchen in the basement, each room is filled with furniture and objects from the period to provide some great insights into how the Victorians lived. This remarkable house was threatened with demolition in 1923, but was saved by the Dickens Fellowship who raised the money to buy the property’s freehold. The house was renovated and the Dickens House Museum was opened in 1925.

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Each room features treasures from the Museum’s comprehensive collection of Dickens-related objects. You can see the desk where he wrote Great Expectations and raised reading desk which he designed and from which he made countless public readings. Original manuscripts of his great works; letters, personal items, paintings, drawings and photographs tell the story of the Dickens life.

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The Museum for the Christmas period are holding an exhibition entitled A Christmas Carol Reimagined which features original artwork from illustration students from Central St Martins and the House of Illustration. This innovative and enjoyable exhibition illustrates that Dickens stories often transcend time and provide inspiration for artists of today.

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Many visitors are attracted by the host of Christmas events the Museum holds over the festive period. Highlights include the brilliantly atmospheric candlelit evening openings; late-night openings and tours of the House; special performances and readings of A Christmas Carol by acclaimed Dickens performers; a Christmas walk through the streets of London; and a beautifully lively and festive day of celebration and anticipation on perhaps the most exciting day of the year, Christmas Eve.

The Museum is worth a visit at any time of the year, however at this time of the year it does create its own unique Christmas atmosphere.

Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum runs from 1 December 2015 until 6 January 2016. The events are very popular, with many selling out quickly, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Dickens Museum website here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Visitor Information

Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum and A Christmas Carol Reimagined exhibition

Dates: 1 December 2015 – 6 January 2016

Opening hours: Seven days a week, 10am-5pm (last admission 4pm). Closed on Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

Admission prices: Adults £8; Concessions £6; Children (6-16) £4; Under 6 free.

If you are looking for a Dickens related gift, there is an extensive shop and a very attractive cafe.

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

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 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