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On 21st November, 7M took a trip back in time to get a glimpse of Charles Dickens’ life. What was once Dickens’ house, where he wrote one of his most famous books, Oliver Twist, is now a museum which we were lucky enough to visit.
During our trip, we explored the house and tried to find clues about the life Dickens and his family lived. For example, we were shocked to discover that they put red oxide of lead in most of their food and kept a hedgehog in their kitchen to catch bugs. Whilst looking through Dickens’ drawers we also found his and a family member’s hair that would have been kept in a locket. Moving further up the house we saw his writing desk and noticed that Dickens kept a piece of his past on his desk, a candle that his parents would have used to light up their house. Although Dickens became rich so could have afforded better candles, he kept this candle on his desk as a reminder of his humble past.
As well as having a tour around the house we did a workshop which gave us a sense of how Dickens would have written. In the workshop we read out part of ‘A Christmas Carol’, learning the ways in which Dickens would voice his characters. We also learnt some of the writing techniques Dickens would have used, such as writing in episodes to encourage people to read it out loud to their family. We were then given an old fashioned dip pen made out of a goose feather to try and master old fashioned calligraphy by writing our own stories. Finally, we were given our own chance to read a piece of ‘A Christmas Carol’ the way Dickens would have by using a red velvet reading desk.
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to Dickens’ House and learning what the author was really like underneath the book cover.
Report by Jamie-Leigh and Debbie in year 7