December 2012 | Nate Pedersen

Dickens' London Home Reopens After Renovation

Dickens-museum.jpg48 Doughty Street.  That's where "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby" were written by a young Charles Dickens, only in his mid-20s.  Between 1837 and 1839 Dickens and his family lived in the Doughty Street residence, which is the only of his various London homes to survive into the present era.

Now home to the Dickens Museum, the house was closed for the past eight months while the museum underwent a £3m renovation.  The goal of the refurbishment was to strip the residence of its modern features and return it to a late Victorian state. The museum hoped that visitors would feel like Dickens "just stepped outside."

The refurbishment was financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and completed this year as part of the ongoing bicentennial celebration of Dickens' birth.

Dickens' study is a highlight of the dimly-lit tours hosted by customed tour guides. There visitors can see Dickens' writing desk surrounded by his beloved books. Dickens completed "The Pickwick Papers" at that desk, then wrote "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby" in turn.

The Dickens Museum averages 30,000 visitors per year but expects an increase after the renovation to a number closer to 45,000.

[Image from Wikipedia]