A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
It’s almost surreal being in the home of a renowned author. You grow up in school reading their stories, hearing their name on TV, seeing their written word be adapted and referenced over and over again. Suddenly they don’t seem like they were a real person at all. More of a fantastical legend that someone made up long, long ago.
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of Dickens. I love the way he writes though. There’s no doubt he has a way with words. I can go to a page in any of his novels and be awestricken at what I find. He’s long winded, but he does it in the most captivating way. I actually love writing in that style, but I will never know how he could create these waves of perfectly constructed poetics.
The museum is small and humble. There’s a little cafe at the end molded out of the kitchen that sells some wonderful coffee. There’s a room that’s just about barren, but the walls are covered in quotes from his books. The rest is filled with relics of his life from old furniture to scraps of clothing. Apart from the tourist areas of the house, it’s easy to forget where you are. I remember walking up the narrow staircase and feeling like I was a guest in someone’s home for a second. There’s a cozy atmosphere. If you’re in the area and have a soft spot for literary locations, I’d recommend taking a visit!