London trip for English Literature students

Report by Catherine G, Year 13

On Tuesday 6 February, a group of ten English Literature students headed down to London with a view to broaden their knowledge of Charles Dickens and aid their research of his renowned novel, Oliver Twist, which they are currently studying as part of their A level course. 

After an early start, we made our way on foot from Euston Station to the Camden borough of Central London, where we were welcomed at the Charles Dickens Museum by a friendly and enthusiastic tour guide. The following two hours consisted firstly of a fascinating tour through the countless and intricately decorated rooms of 48 Doughty Street- the property that Dickens resided in when writing Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and Pickwick Papers, consequently achieving international fame as London’s first ‘modern’ celebrity- and secondly of a discussion about Dickens’ works and literary techniques that he used to defend and comment of the lives of the poor in Victorian society.

After walking from the museum to St Paul’s Cathedral, we were greeted by another tour guide, who also was inspired and influenced by the author’s work. Walking around London we were shown many places that Dickens utilised as settings in Oliver Twist, such as where the notorious ‘Newgate Prison’ once was, where the slums used to be in which Dickens created ‘Fagin’s Den’, and the place where Bill Sykes and Fagin met to discuss evil and devious plans. 

Overall, the trip was extremely informative, not only in terms of Dickens’ fictional inspiration but also the real-life history of London.

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