Monday, 9 April 2012

Dickens and London

Verdict: Worth a look
Where: Museum of London
When: 9 December 2011 - 10 June 2012

It's always a calculated risk when basing an exhibition on an artist's life because even though the public may love their work, there's no guarantee that they'll want to know how they lived.

It's been 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens and so we have an exhibition dedicated to his life and his favourite muse - the city of London.

The show has two foci, how Dickens lived (hardcore fans only need apply) and how London was in his day - the more interesting part. The Museum of London has done an excellent job or portraying Victorian London through paintings, artefacts and even a map of London - see if you can find your house or workplace, or the field that it used to be. This is a helpful segue into how Dickens didn't romanticise London in his novels but still had a lot of love for it.

Dickens is famed for his nocturnal walks, claiming that he knew the streets of London better than any other Londoner. The final room plays a clever video that involves nocturnal strolls through modern London but overlaid with a reader reciting Dickensian text pertinent to the on screen images.

You'll learn a lot about Dickens at this exhibition but you need not be a groupie to enjoy what's on display. 

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