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Charles Dickens

The Old Curiosity Shop is the title of one of Dickens' novels

Charles John Huffam Dickens (alias Boz) was born in Portsmouth in 1812 and died of a stroke in London in 1870 at the age of 58. Dickens spent most of his life in London and used genuine London sites as background to his stories, many of which first appeared in serialised forms in magazines.  This accounts for their particular rhythmn with regular cliffhangers to ensure interest in the next installment.

What could our book club do?

  • Visit Dickens' House, (the Charles Dickens Museum in London) the last surviving home of the author from where he wrote The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist. Saved from demolition in 1923 by the Dickens Fellowship, it has been meticulously restored as Dickens would have known it. View memorabilia such as his desk, chair and lucky pottery monkey.
  • Once we have obtained special permission for you from the Curator, also view the Charles Dickens Library containing rare books, manuscripts and photographs.
  • Take a 2-hour historical walking tour through Charles Dickens' London with a professionally-qualified guide. Sites en route can include the location of the blacking factory where Dickens worked as a young boy, his involvement with the theatre, Lincoln's Inn and the Old Curiosity Shop.
  • Visit The Ragged School Museum, located next to the Regent's Canal and dedicated to showcasing Victorian life.
  • See Dickens' grave at Poet's Corner, South Transept, Westminster Abbey where a wreath is still laid every year to commemorate the anniversary of his death on June 9th.
  • Visit Highgate Cemetery to view the graves of his parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens, on whom he based Mr Micawber and Mrs Nickleby.  His wife, Catherine and daughter, Dora are also buried here.

Anything else of interest in the area?

  • Spectacular views of the city can be had from a pod on the London Eye.
  • Visit the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds or the London Dungeons.
  • See a musical or play in the West End.  We can make suggestions and book tickets for you. 
  • Shop in Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street.
  • Visit one of the numerous museums and art galleries where entrance is free.

Recommended reading for your book club

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens:  A Life by Claire Tomalin

Dickens:  His Life and His World by Michael Rosen


Recommended viewing for your book club

Little Dorrit (1988)
Starring Derek Jacobi as Arthur Clennam.

A Christmas Carol (2009)
Starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Book Club Tours look forward to welcoming you to London for a Charles Dickens tour in his bicentenary year.

Book Club Tours LLP, 33 Broad Lane, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3AL • Tel: 020 8979 2285