48 Doughty Street. Home to the author of Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Bleak House, and so much more. It was the home of one of England’s famed novelist Charles Dickens. I had the chance to visit his house on simple Doughty Street. I just recently found out about his home here and made sure it was on my list. And found out it was actually only a few blocks away from where I take classes.
The simple row house stands in the middle of the street with a turquoise door. This house saw the birth of some of his children along with the completion of several of his works including Oliver Twist. This author who originally lived in the English countryside had to move to London when he was younger with his family when the money was waning. During his childhood he worked in factories, saw his father jailed for debt, and lived among the Victorian English poor. These events would later give him inspiration for his future works. Most of his works are a reflection of Victorian England. His writings dived into all social classes and problems of the rigorous Industrial Revolution. They often rose awareness of these problems and made lasting impacts on social issues. The famed Oliver Twist was a changing point in how orphanages and poor houses were managed. It made many beneficial changes in favor of the poor. He not only talked the talk but also walked the walk. He hired house attendants and maids in his house since he was an extremely successful author generating a healthy income. He treated each of his house attendant and maids with great respect, care, and charity.
It was a bit sad to realize that I was the only one in this house turned museum. At the same time I was happy because I had the whole house to myself. I saw his office room where he composed his writings for newspapers, editorials, and even penned Oliver Twist in its entirety. His library is still there, along with some of the earliest editions of his works. The next room over was the drawing room. This was the largest room of the house where he would entertain guests by theatrically reading guests his works. As fame rose he would start selling tickets for these performances adding another source of income. His actual reading stand where he proclaimed his words is on display. There is a window in his childhood home in which he would daily glance out of with the addition of another window which inspired the scene in which Oliver Twist breaks to perform a burglary. Though he only lived in this house during his early years there is still section of the room dedicated to his final years and death. A lock of hair and a rose laid on his coffin are on display there. His death was seen as a national tragedy especially among those for whom he stood up for in his works. He combined his deep love of writing with his great desire to raise awareness, morality, and social awareness. These two aspects allowed him to create some of literature’s most memorable characters. It is with this passion that this quote from David Cooperfield is most applicable to his life,