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Year 11: Charles Dickens Trip

Year 11: Charles Dickens Trip


Saina Asadi
Saina Asadi
Year 11: Charles Dickens Trip

On Wednesday 7th December, year 11 English students visited the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

As part of our study of A Christmas Carol, we were invited to attend a trip at the museum to give us the chance to step into the Victorian era in order to support our understanding of the social and historical context surrounding his novel.

The museum is situated at 48 Doughty Street, Dickens’s London home from 1837-1839. He moved there with his wife, Catherine, and their eldest son Charlie. While living in Doughty Street, Dickens finished writing The Pickwick Papers, wrote Nicholas Nickleby and most famously of all, Oliver Twist. These early publications made Dickens an international celebrity, even Queen Victoria was a fan!

After an hour-long journey into London via coach, we had the chance to explore the museum that had been set up to look exactly the way it did when Dickens and his family had lived there, complete with furnishings, portraits and decorations which are known to have belonged to Dickens. Our specialist historian tour guides showed us through the house, giving us an understanding of what it would be like to live in the Victorian era. We were given a tour of the whole house – this included the office in which Dickens wrote the story of Oliver Twist. As part of this tour, we were also shown several extracts written by Charles Dickens himself!

We also experienced how the family maids worked in the basement of the home, this included the washing room where they would have spent many hours cleaning and drying the family’s clothes.

We also found out that the family would not eat together as there were separate dining rooms, one in the basement for the maids and servants and one for the children and adults. An interesting seasonal fact that we discovered on the trip was Dickens’ influence on the tradition of eating a turkey as part of Christmas dinner. Dickens was influenced by a trip that he had taken to America during Thanksgiving.

Upon the completion of our tour, we walked to a local park to have our lunch and stopped at Costa for a hot drink before making our way back to school. Overall, we had a fun experience at the museum as we not only had the chance to explore life in the Victorian era, but also had to embrace seasonal festivities as part of the experience.

Article by: Max, Freddie & Raahim, Y11.

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