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The Charles Dickens Museum Tour - 17th June

Our Socratic club event this term took us to the Dicken's museum on Doughty Street, just a short walk from the British Museum, and an actual home of the great author.

Preserved in Victorian splendour, we enjoyed delving into the past from the basement to the attic floors, taking in the 'upstairs, downstairs' life of those above and below stairs.

From the hustle and bustle of the servants hall and kitchens to the elegant drawing room, the group took in the different features of a 19th century London home, with the general theme of coal and smog and of course the famous 'London pea souper', not forgetting of course 'tea time'. With a writing desk on display used for Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities it was impossible not to be inspired by the place and to imagine characters from his many works - from Oliver in Oliver Twist to Scrooge in a A Christmas Carol.

We ended the tour with a debate centred on whether you would rather 'live in the Past or the Present' - with everyone in the group having identified objects and items (including Dicken's ceremonial attire for a Prince of Wales gala in 1870) that they would have liked in the present. In the end the motion was rejected, but only narrowly after a fascinating discussion.

Of our events to date this really was 'the best of times'! Well done all on such great questions and enthusiasm throughout.

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