Dickensland: The Curious History of Dickens's London

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Dickensland: The Curious History of Dickens's London
The intriguing history of Dickens's London, showing how tourists have reimagined and reinvented the Dickensian metropolis for more than 150 years

"Jackson paints a vivid and detailed picture of the city as it was. . . . Dickens, who was no stranger to the instructive and comedic joys of pedantry, would surely have approved."--Ann Alicia Garza, Times Literary Supplement

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"--that 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 reimagined.

Lee Jackson traces the fascinating history of Dickensian tourism, exploring both real Victorian London and a fictional city shaped by fandom, tourism, and heritage entrepreneurs. Beginning with the late nineteenth century, Jackson investigates key sites of literary pilgrimage and their relationship with Dickens and his work, revealing hidden, reinvented, and even faked locations. From vanishing coaching inns to submerged riverside stairs, hidden burial grounds to apocryphal shops, Dickensland charts the curious history of an imaginary world.

Publication Date: 
September 26, 2023