From vanishing coaching inns to submerged riverside stairs, hidden burial grounds to apocryphal shops, tourists have sought out the landmarks, streets, and alleys of Charles Dickens’s London ever since the death of the world-renowned author. Late Victorians and Edwardians were obsessed with tracking down the locations—dubbed “Dickensland”—which famously featured in his novels. But his fans were faced with a city that was undergoing rapid redevelopment, where literary shrines were far from sacred. Over the following century, sites connected with Dickens were demolished, relocated, and re-imagined.
So, where can today’s literary tourists go to see a slice of Dickensian history?
Lee Jackson takes us on a tour of “Dickensland”, through the real, reinvented, and faked locations associated with Charles Dickens and his novels.
About the Author
Lee Jackson is a well-known expert on Victorian London. He is the author of Dirty Old London, Walking Dickens’ London, and Palaces of Pleasure. Lee has lectured on Victorian topics for libraries and museums throughout London and is an academic advisor to the Dickens Museum.
With thanks to the Charles Dickens Museum for use of the credited images in the map.