Sunday, May 23, 2010

Charles Dickens House

Two of the things on the London to-do list was go to the Charles Dickens Museum and to scour London until I found the Old Curiosity Shop-- the real shop that Dickens based his novel The Old Curiosity Shop on, imagine that!

We have a bad habit of not checking on when things close and just showing up. The first time we arrived at the Charles Dickens Museum it was 4:50 pm and we found the cute green door locked with a sign: last admittance at 4:30 pm. So we came back and I'm glad we did.

It's Lauren who loves Charles Dickens, but now I kind of want to read The Pickwick Papers since he wrote it in this house and of course The Old Curiosity Shop. I didn't know he was such a scandal either. He cheated on his wife with an actress after his wife had had 10 kids! Wow Charles.

I think we ended up asking like 6 different people where this shop was. Finally, after it had started raining and we were all dripping wet, this man pulled out his iphone and googled directions for us. It was across the road and down the road about a block...we're just teenage American girls wandering around London. We never know where anything is.
We rang this old fashioned door bell and noticed that the door was crooked at the Old Curiosity Shop. It's now a shoe store-- someone really owns it and runs a business out of it. It's tiny. One little room and a staircase that goes upstairs ( we were already being nosy so we didn't ask to go upstairs). They have a little plague in the corner about Charles Dickens and that's about it. I loved that it's a real business and not a museum-- it was way more fun. The owner told us that in Charles Dickens's day it was a junk shop, now it's a homemade shoe store.


  1. Ash, are you trying to give your mom a heart attack? "We're just teenage American girls wandering around London." :) Hooray for Google, though!

  2. I just happened to be googling Pickwick Papers, and came across this post from five years ago. Did you ever get to read The Pickwick Papers? If so, I wonder what you thought of it?

    You might be interested in taking a look at my new novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which will be published by Random House in May (in the UK) and in June by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (in the USA). It tells the story behind the creation of The Pickwick Papers - and there are scenes set in the house you visited. You can find out more at:

    Best wishes

    Stephen Jarvis