The following are blog articles we have written. Although our site is primarily devoted to the author Charles Dickens, we have included articles about the times he lived in.
All the fun of Charles Dickens’s Greenwich Fair.
In 1835 a 23 year-old budding writer Charles Dickens, then using the pseudonym ‘Boz’, penned a sketch about Greenwich Fair (first published in The Evening Chronicle and a year later in a collection of his sketches, Sketches by Boz). In this article, we look behind this huge biannual spectacle which Dickens so acutely observes, and how left unchecked it ultimately became a victim of its own success.
The Song of the Shirt: Mrs Biddell and an early victory in Victorian court of public opinion.
In October 1843 a young widow and seamstress, simply known as Mrs Biddell, was prosecuted at a criminal court in the East End of London for pawning clothes she was sewing in order to feed her starving children. Although not an unusual tale for many hard-up seamstresses, the case of Mrs Biddell would go on to make national publicity and expose the distress of this poor group of workers. In this article, we look at the story behind Mrs Biddell and the plight of this largely hidden industry in the early part of the Victorian Era.
Pop Goes The Weasel: The Rise and Fall of the Eagle Tavern and Grecian Theatre, City Road.
In 1835 the then 23 year-old budding writer Charles Dickens, wrote a sketch about a visit to The Eagle Tavern in London’s City Road. Twenty years later he would revisit the venue, which had by then grown to become one of the East Ends largest and most popular entertainment venues. In a four-part blog, we explore the rise of Eagle, how it rose to become one of the most popular entertainment places in the metropolis and how it ultimately fell to religious zealotry.
Tooting Pauper Farm.
In 1849 an outbreak of cholera in Tooting killed nearly two hundred people. Whilst this was only a fraction of the thousands to die from the disease that year what made this case particularly disturbing was that the victims were all pauper children, farmed out from the metropolis by their local parishes.
A Lexicon of Dickens Characters.