This is my second post about Charles Dickens – he wrote enough books to deserve two posts, don’t you think?
When I left the Charles Dickens Museum, I paused to take a photo of this blue plaque.
The plaque has been there since 1903 as part of a scheme to mark “houses of historical interest” in London. At that stage the scheme was run by London County Council – it is now part of the work of English Heritage.*
Charles Dickens was an upwardly mobile author, moving around London and eventually out to Gad’s Hill Place in Kent. So I detoured round Tavistock Square on my walk home from the museum to catch another blue plaque.
Before he moved to Tavistock House, Dickens lived in 1 Devonshire Terrace – even closer to home for me. That house no longer exists, but we have a great memorial on the building currently standing on the corner of Marylebone Road and Marylebone High Street. More lively than the traditional blue plaque, this stone artwork by Estcourt J Clack announces that “while living in a house on this site, Charles Dickens wrote six** of his principal works, characters from which appear in this sculptured panel”.
The next photo is my second favourite depiction of Marley’s ghostly doorknocker appearing to Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” – nothing will ever beat “A Muppet Christmas Carol”.
And here is a sideways look at Mr Micawber and David Copperfield.
Should blogs have footnotes? Just this once.
* The “blue plaque” scheme was launched by the Society of Arts in 1866, administered by London County Council from 1901 to 1965, by its successor the Greater London Council until 1986, and then by English Heritage. Funding cuts have curtailed the scheme since 2013, but recent plaques have included one with an Indian connection on the home of V. K. Krishna Menon (1896-1974), a key figure in India’s fight for independence.
** Apart from David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol, the other books written while Dickens lived at Devonshire Terrace were Dombey & Son, Barnaby Rudge, The Old Curiosity Shop, and Martin Chuzzlewit.