The 200th birthday of the author Charles Dickens was marked around the world throughout February 2012, and Westminster Archives Centre has been joining in with the celebrations.
Dickens’ Westminster connections, apparent throughout his life and literature are explored in our current search room display. On view are parish register entries relating to family events in Dickens’s life, material relating to the blacking factory in which he worked as a child (a period that profoundly influenced his personal philosophy and writing), and images of Westminster locations featured in his novels.
In the Archives Centre’s Book of the Month, Charles Dickens’s London, renowned scholar Andrew Sanders explores what survives of Dickens’ city by following in the great author’s own footsteps. As many of the architectural features of London that would have been familiar to Dickens have subsequently been swept away, Sanders recreates the Victorian capital through evocative historic photographs and the exploration of literary locations featured in the famous writer’s novels. The book also includes many previously unpublished photographs of the Victorian city, which are very effective in contrasting the ostentatious splendour of fashionable London with squalor of its slums.
If your appetite for all things Dickensian is not so easily sated, join Westminster City Archives in the Great Hall of King’s College London for a fascinating day of talks and readings celebrating the great author on Saturday 28 April: Dickensfest.