Dickens and London at the Museum of London 2012

On Saturday whilst in the great metropolis I decided to take in the current ‘Dickens and London’ exhibition at the Museum of London. Tickets are £7, the Museum blurb says:

To mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth, the Museum of London will be holding an exhibition celebrating his work. London was Dickens’ ‘magic lantern’ providing the setting and inspiration for some of his greatest works.

This atmospheric and multi-sensory exhibition will explore his 

love/hate relationship with the city and will examine London life through his words and the contemporary social issues he threw under the spotlight. It will include manuscripts of some of his most famous novels, his writing desk and chair, artefacts, paintings and audiovisual effects to create an immersive and exciting journey through Dickens’ imagination.

I have to say I was pretty disappointed with it, the reason being it had more

about London of his time than the great author himself.

There were a few manuscripts, a few pieces of furniture, a few costumes, lots of images and paintings of London plus the blurb about them.

“The best celebration of Dickens’ legacy.” ***** The Independent

“The Museum of London’s new exhibition will enthrall.” londonist.com

Got to be honest having read the above on the website I wondered if I was at the same exhibition as these chaps. 

The apparent highlight of the exhibition was ‘an audio-visual experience bringing to life the famous painting of Dickens’ Dream at the desk and chair where he wrote his novels’. Well it wasn’t a highlight for me.

If you are planning a trip don’t expect too much and myself and my friends decided it definitely wasn’t worth £7 and of course the £8 fare to get to London.


3 thoughts on “Dickens and London at the Museum of London 2012

  1. The recently departed director of the MoL (Jack Lohman) has just started working at my local museum, the Royal BC Museum. I hope that this exhibit is not an indication of his committment to excellence. He has already said some things in the press about the design philosophy at the RBCM that could very much change the appearance and ethic of exhibit design. Which is OK, so long as they get the content right. It will be interesting to see what he brings to his new job.

      • Possibly, but I am not sure that good exhibits talk down to their audiences.
        Anyway, the MoL usually does nice work (or did at the time I was a contractor there in the late 80s – not involved with exhibits at all) and the RBCM has a good reputation too so I expect that Lohman will fit in just fine in BC, if he can tolerate the small town and provincial aspects of the Victoria cultural scene after all that London has to offer.

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