Charles Dickens Museum, London, UK

Website: https://dickensmuseum.com/

Physical address: 48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX

Phone number: +44 20 7405 2127

Business hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am-5pm

Closed Mondays except in December and bank holidays

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The Charles Dickens Museum is a Georgian terrace house in the heart of Camden, rescued from demolition in 1923 by a group of Dickens fans who, in 1902, had formed the Dickens Fellowship. Two years later, it was opened as a museum dedicated to the author’s life and works and, but for a brief closure for some significant restoration work in 2012, has remained that way ever since.

Charles Dickens moved into the house at 48 Doughty Street in 1837, with his wife, Catherine (née Hogarth) and eldest child, Charles, a year after his wedding. The couple’s next two children, Mary and Kate, were born in the house, and Charles’ brother, Frederick, and Catherine’s sister, Mary, also lived there. Dickens was reportedly very attached to his sister-in-law, and her death in his arms in the back room of this house affected him deeply. Though the family remained in the house for less than three years, it was here that The Pickwick Papers was completed, and both Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelby were written. With those three works of literary success under his belt, Dickens was able to afford to move his growing family into larger and more illustrious homes.

From a collection of more than 100,000 Dickens artefacts, the home has been furnished and decorated with items owned and used by the family, but only a small proportion of the collection can be on show at any given time. One off pieces, including the suit and sword Dickens wore when he was presented to the Prince of Wales, and Catherine’s engagement ring, are highlights of the collection, and letters, furniture, rare editions and quill-written manuscripts bring to life the author’s work, family and social worlds, from which he drew much of his inspiration.

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The dining room 🍽️

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The museum also houses an education centre next door, and has a gift shop and a café, both of which can be accessed without a ticket for the museum itself.

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