“But the streets of London, to be beheld in the very height of their glory, should be seen on a dark, dull, murky winter’s night, when there is just enough damp gently stealing down to make the pavement greasy, without cleansing it of any of its impurities; and when the heavy lazy mist, which hangs over every object, makes the gas-lamps look brighter, and the brilliantly-lighted shops more splendid, from the contrast they present to the darkness around…”
Charles Dickens: The Streets – Night, from Sketches by Boz
Dickens has been described as one of the greatest creators of characters in the English language, but one “character” vividly drawn throughout his novels is London itself.
London, and particularly London at night was his muse; writing to his friend and biographer, John Forster, Dickens described London as his “Magic Lantern” and how he found on being away from the city that “…the toil and labour of writing…without that Magic Lantern is immense”
Afflicted by a temporary bout of sleeplessness, Charles Dickens became a night walker, taking to the streets of our great City at night for some epic walks and turning his famed powers for observation on the nocturnal to-ings and fro-ings of the slumbering city in search of inspiration.
Whilst the gas lamps may have long gone, the City at night still has the same brooding character that inspired Dickens so much, so join me for our own night walk to trace Dickens’ footsteps around the City to witness and some of the locations that informed and inspired both his personal life and his great writing.
The walk is promoted in conjunction with The Paternoster Chop House, costs £10 per head and will start and finish at the restaurant. Details are on their website here, but please note that pre-booking is only necessary if you wish to eat there afterwards (highly recommended, the food there is superb!) and enjoy a complimentary glass of warming mulled wine.
However, if you only wish come on the walk, simply meet me outside the restaurant just before 7.oo pm.
I hope to see you then, be sure to wrap up warm!