All about Charles

Well, almost. The bicentenary of Dickens’s birth is coming up and we have all sort of treats lined up.

First of all, I am so excited about the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations this Christmas with Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Ray Winstone as Magwitch and David Suchet as Mr Jaggers. I am besides myself and cannot wait. I am starved of a good costume drama this autumn (season 2 of Dowton Abbey completely failed to engage me). In fact, we will be doubly treated to Great Expectations as there is also a silver screen version being shot with Helena Bonham Carter who, in my opinion, is the perfect Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwich who I am very curious about.

Most of us are familiar with Pip’s passionate love for Estella but I decided to refresh my memory and I am rereading this great novel. I downloaded the complete works of Charles Dickens to my Kindle for a mere £2 but you can go flash and get these luxurious Penguin Classics editions with fabric covers illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith at £10-15 per book or a full set for £100. A beautiful Christmas gift, don’t you think?

The box set includes A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Bleak House, A Christmas Carol and Hard Times.

The Charles Dickens Museum was closed up until this week for some restoration works so I went to check it out yesterday. I expected a higgledy-piggledy house with creaking stairs and dingy rooms. In reality it was a very orderly and tidy home.

We start our tour down in the basement where we find a cozy kitchen, a washroom and a library. Of course I was absolutely fascinated by the kitchen and it was my favorite room in the whole house.

The drawing room was such a happy place, it was all coziness, fun and love. You can imagine the Dickens family enjoying many chatty afternoons here. Just imagine Christmas in this place!

Mary Hogarth’s room had a beautiful gown on display.

The author’s desk.

The musem has got the best collection of Dickens memorabilia in the world.

There is a great museum shop with beautiful editions of Dickens’s works and the museum will be dressed up for Christmas with special events.

Last but not least we have the new biography by Claire Tomalin which I am looking forward to read.


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5 Responses to “All about Charles”

  1. kristina 14 November, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Oh it looks so interesting. I wonder why I’ve never been. Must put that right! And the kitchen is always my favorite room too when visiting any historic house!

    K x

  2. ara jane 15 November, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    oh my goodness, a dickens museum?! consider me extremely jealous. i hadn’t heard about the bbc great expectations… sounds amazing. though we probably won’t get it over here for a while yet. [sigh]

  3. The Sneaky Magpie 16 November, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    kristina: it’s definitely a must visit in that case.

    ara jane: fingers crossed they air it for Christmas!

  4. if jane 18 November, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    oh i would love to visit!
    i have a soft spot for dickens because of fagan and er nancy! ;))

  5. The Sneaky Magpie 19 November, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    poor Nancy didn’t have the best end!

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