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Discover Dickens through his work, his home and the things that mattered to him most

The Christmas Sports by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley

In this article, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley discusses one of her favourite items in the museum’s collection; a poster printed in 1866 advertising a day of “Christmas Sports at Mr Charles Dickens’s Cricket Field”. 

Where did Dickens go to the toilet?

At 48 Doughty Street we are regularly asked about how water and waste was dealt with by the Dickens family in the 1830s: Where did Dickens go to the loo? How did the family bathe? Did they have running water? This article is an attempt to address some of those questions.

Dickens's Dream with Dr Leon Litvack

In this short video, Dr Leon Litvack introduces the painting Dickens’s Dream by RW Buss (1875), the characters it depicts and its intriguing relationship to other portraits of Dickens.

Dickens's reading desk with Dr Leon Litvack

In this short video, Dr Leon Litvack explores the importance of Dickens’s reading desk, on display at the Charles Dickens Museum. 

A Woodblock Illustration

In this video, join Curator Louisa Price as she shows you a woodblock of John Leech’s famous illustration, ‘Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball’ – the only illustration to be used in Dickens’s 1852 cheap edition of his Christmas stories.

Audio: Mamie Dickens on Dickens’s Studies

In this extract, we hear Dickens’s eldest daughter Mary, affectionately known as Mamie, sharing her memories of Dickens’s studies from several family homes.

Interactive Tour: Study

Explore the study using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Dining Room

Explore the dining room using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Mary Hogarth Room

Explore the Mary Hogarth room using our interactive tour.

Search the Collections: Mary Hogarth Room

Discover more about the items displayed in this room by searching the Museum's collections database.

Audio: Mamie Dickens’s memories of Dickens at work in his study

In this extract we hear Dickens’s eldest daughter, Mamie, recall her memories of watching Dickens at work in his study channelling his characters.

Interactive Tour: Drawing Room

Explore the drawing room using our interactive tour.

Audio: 'The Bastille Prisoner'

In this extract, we hear chapter two of The Bastille Prisoner, based on Book One from A Tale of Two Cities.

Search the Collections: Dining Room

Discover more about the items displayed in this room by searching the Museum's collections database.

The Ill Fated Binding of ‘The Rubaiyat’ by Sangorski & Sutcliffe

In this video bookseller Ben Maggs shares with us the wonderfully tragic tale of the most valuable, luxurious, book bindings of all time.

Circulating Libraries and the Beginnings of Maggs. Bros

Join bookseller Alice Rowell to discover the story of the beginnings of the Maggs Bros. told through the earliest piece of ephemera held in their collection.

The Beautifully Bound Books of Sangorski and Sutcliffe

Join bookseller Ben Maggs of Maggs Bros as he shares with us two beautifully bound books by the master binders featuring gold tooling, inlay inscriptions, and even precious stones.

Reading by Tallow Candles and Rushlight

From the 1850s, wealthier homes were lit with gas light but for most readers this was unaffordable. This meant the use of tallow – animal fat in the form of rushlights or tallow candles. In this video, Prof. Simon Eliot outlines just a few of the drawbacks and frustrations these light sources would have caused.

The First Cloth Bound Books

In this video, join guest Curator Prof. Simon Eliot as he explains these developments at a pivotal time in the world of publishing.

Dickens experiments with colour in A Christmas Carol

In this video, join Curator Louisa Price as she shows you a rare trail edition of the Carol and explains the importance of colour.

Interactive Tour: Servant's Bedroom

Explore the servant's bedroom using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Nursery

Explore the nursery using our interactive tour. 

Interactive Tour: Dressing Room

Explore the dressing room using our interactive tour.

Search the Collections: Study

Discover more about the items displayed in this room by searching the Museum's collections database.

Audio: The Small Servant from 'The Old Curiosity Shop'

In this excerpt from 'The Old Curiosity Shop', Dick Swiveller observes the Brasses’s badly treated young servant girl having a meagre meal.

Audio: Mamie Dickens on Dickens’s Tidy Nature

Dickens’s eldest daughter Mary, affectionately known as Mamie, shares in this extract her memories of Dickens’s love of neatness and beauty.

Interactive Tour: The Dickenses' Bedroom

Explore the Dickenses' bedroom using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Wash House

Explore the wash house using our interactive tour. 

Interactive Tour: Morning Room

Explore the morning room using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Kitchen

Explore the kitchen using our interactive tour.

Interactive Tour: Hallway

Explore the hallway using our interactive tour.

Young Explorers: Wash House

Discover the wash house.

A Flattering Caricature

Object in focus: print of Dickens being received by the Edinburgh literati

The Amazing Conjuring of Characters

Object in focus: ‘Dickens the Great Magician’ by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

The All-Important Prop

Object in focus: Ivory paper knife owned by Dickens

The Difficulty of Capturing Dickens

Object in focus: Manuscript letter from William Powell Frith

Drawn by new technologies

Object in focus: Drawing of Dickens by Mr Maskelyne's Automaton ZOE

Search the Collections: Drawing Room

Discover more about the items displayed in this room by searching the Museum's collections database.

Wardrobe

Object in focus: Wardrobe

Search the Collections: Morning Room

Discover more about the items displayed in this room by searching the Museum's collections database.

Audio: A letter from Catherine Dickens

Listen to this extract to hear Catherine describing their family holiday to her good friend Mrs Felton.

Audio: Sam Weller from 'The Pickwick Papers'

In this excerpt from Dickens’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the popular character Sam Weller shares a meal in the servants’ quarters.

Audio: Dickens’s Dreams of Mary Hogarth

In this excerpt from a letter to his mother-in-law, we hear Dickens reflect on the death of Mary Hogarth and the impact that it had on him.

Audio: ‘Personal’ from 'Household Words'

In this audio extract, we hear Dickens announce his separation from his wife Catherine and protest his innocence in the face of rumours about his infidelity.

Audio: Dickens’s autobiographical fragment

Hear in Dickens’s own words, his recollection of the loneliness and hardship of working as a child.

Audio: A Letter to a Chimney Sweep

In this letter to a chimney sweep, we hear Dickens bring his chimney to life.

Audio: The Earliest Known Letter by Dickens

Hear in this audio track the earliest known letter by Dickens written as a 13-year-old schoolboy in 1825.

Audio: An Invitation to Dickens’s Birthday Dinner

In this audio extract, we hear Dickens’s humorous invitation for his friend John Harley to join them at his birthday dinner.

Audio: ‘Gin Palaces’ from 'Sketches by Boz'

In this audio excerpt, hear Dickens’s beautifully atmospheric depiction of a gin palace from Sketches by Boz.

Audio: ‘Drooping Buds’ from 'Household Words'

In this excerpt, Dickens describes a visit to the newly founded Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street.

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