Items from Charles Dickens’ childhood to be exhibited to mark 200-year milestone

A group of key objects from Charles Dickens’s childhood are to go on show to mark the 2 hundredth anniversary of the world-famous author’s introduction to the working world.

Dickens was simply 11-years-old when he was pressured to depart faculty within the autumn of 1823.

He started work within the Warren’s Blacking Factory at Hungerford Stairs on the north facet of the River Thames, close to the place Charing Cross Station stands at the moment.

For 10 hours a day, six days every week, Dickens joined different youngster labourers in fixing labels to bottles of boot-cleaning blacking liquid – to assist in the direction of his household’s revenue.

In January 1824, the manufacturing facility moved to a brand new premises in Chandos Street, in Covent Garden, the place the boy labored till he was eliminated by his father John Dickens that September.

To mark the 2 hundredth anniversary of a pivotal episode, that formed Dickens’ persona, politics, and works, the Charles Dickens Museum will show a set of key objects which throw extra gentle on a punishing a part of Dickens’ boyhood.

The objects shall be on show in Charles Dickens’ research from Friday August 25 till  January 21 2024.

The museum, situated at 48 Doughty Street, in Holborn, is the one grownup dwelling during which Dickens lived in London that survives, and the place he wrote the tales that earned him international fame.

By the time the household left the handle, Dickens was world well-known, having written a trio of wildly profitable novels – The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.

Among the newly- displayed objects and paperwork is a pair of letters written by John Dickens – the inspiration for one in every of Charles Dickens’ best-loved characters, Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield.

The letters have been acquired by the museum in 2019.

Also becoming a member of the show is a stoneware bottle inscribed “Warren’s liquid. 30 Strand” on one facet and “Blacking Bottle” on the opposite.

Dickens labored with bottles resembling this merchandise, which was excavated in 2006 by a bunch of Science Museum archaeologists from an previous ice effectively that had been used as a builders’ garbage dump within the nineteenth century.

The effectively was beneath the London Canal Museum and the bottle was donated to the gathering by the Canal Museum that yr.

Frankie Kubicki, senior curator on the Charles Dickens Museum, stated: “Although Dickens never spoke of the blacking factory publicly, his life there was an experience he would never forget.

“The 11-year-old boy who walked to work from lodgings in Camden and Southwark every morning experienced the ugliness of factory life and received a permanent mental imprint of the hardship that was lurking to find impoverished children in the capital city.

“In his later works, the blacking factory looms large, not only as a significant backdrop to David Copperfield, but as the driving force behind the creation of hapless child victims in his stories, such as the much-loved character, Oliver Twist.

“His position at the factory was to damage his relationship with his parents for the rest of his life, and his father’s continuing money problems only further deepened this void.

“The items which we are showing make the experience palpable and enable us to see the damaging effects of poverty on a child’s life and a close-knit family.”

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