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Charles Dickens: Man Of Science at The Charles Dickens Museum


A new exhibition aiming to overturn a long-held belief that Britain's greatest novelist had no interest in science. Charles Dickens: Man of Science will investigate and reveal Dickens's deep and influential interest in medicine, chemistry, geology, the energy of the Earth and the ability of science to drive change, cure disease, clean the city, clear the atmosphere and inspire the imagination. Drawing on the evidence of his novels, journalism, letters and exchanges with friends, the exhibition will show Dickens as one of the most powerful science communicators of his age - a true man of science. The exhibition is generously supported by a donation from the Dickens Fellowship. The exhibition runs at Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, the London Townhouse into which Dickens moved with his family in 1837. The Museum holds the world's most comprehensive collection of Dickens-related material, including the desk at which he wrote his later novels, including Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. When Dickens moved to Doughty Street, he was a little-known writer, still using his pen-name, Boz; by the time he left, he was an international superstar, having written The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby there. Dickens's power in the field of science lay in the perfect combination of his position right at the heart of Victorian society and the massive audience which hung on his every word, whether in his novels or in the magazines he edited and published (for examples see notes below). His place as the most well-connected man in Victorian England led to friendships with the great scientists of the day; he shared a club with Charles Darwin, holidayed with chemist Jane Marcet, mixed with botanist Jane Loudon, sociologist Harriet Martineau and geologist Roderick Murchison, published the Royal Institution's Michael Faraday and wrote an important obituary of Mary Anning, which brought the woman who discovered the ichthyosaur and plesiosaurus to the attention of the public. At the same time, Dickens's own works were admired by anatomist Richard Owen, mathematician Ada Lovelace (who asked Dickens to read Dombey and Son to her on her deathbed) and, notably, Florence Nightingale, who prescribed his novels to sick soldiers as treatment-by-reading.


Child Ticket From £4.00 per ticket
Concession Ticket From £7.00 per ticket
Adult Ticket From £9.00 per ticket

Venue Details & Map

The Charles Dickens Museum

48 Doughty Street
+44 (0)20 7405 2127
Public transport:
Turn right out of the station and then follow the signs.

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