A brief history of Smithfield

By alex werner, head of history collections on 26 Mar 2015

Painting of 'A Bird's Eye View of Smithfield Market taken from the Bear and Ragged Staff'

Smithfield is one of London’s special places. Its lanes, alleys and courts on the edge of the market still follow a medieval street plan. Smithfield has its own distinctive character and feel. The bumarees or market porters with their white coats and hats, often smeared with blood, mingle with office and hospital workers. It is a locality at work both day and night. In the evenings, crowds spill out from the pubs and bars, while drivers park lorries laden with meat ready for the early morning market. Read the full postRead the full post

Adapting Dickens for an app

By other museum staff on 9 Jul 2012

Joanna Robinson looks back at the creation of the Dickens: Dark London app. Joanna is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. There must be a strange sense of anticlimax when an exhibition ends. Museum staff have followed Dickens and London through every stage – the months of research and careful planning, the hype surrounding its opening, and finally (as of Sunday 10 June 2012) an empty space where it has been. Yet this one is special, as even after the exhibit is dismantled Dickens and London will leave […]

Policing Victorian London: The Door to Newgate Prison and the Furnival’s Inn Watchman’s Box

By other museum staff on 29 May 2012

Following on from her blogs about William Raban’s film Nightwalks, the key objects within our Dickens and London exhibition, Dickens’ family portraits, and London pubs, this week PhD student, Joanna Robinson, looks at policing in Victorian London. Joanna is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. ‘And now the strokes began to fall like hail upon the gate, and on the strong building; for those who could not reach the door, spent their fierce rage on anything—even on the great blocks of stone, which shivered their weapons into fragments, […]

Dickens and London Pubs

By other museum staff on 23 May 2012

Following on from her blogs about William Raban’s film Nightwalks, the key objects within our Dickens and London exhibition and Dickens’ family portraits, this week PhD student, Joanna Robinson, looks at London pubs then and now. Joanna is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. Coming, as I do, from a small village, the local pub has been a central feature in the landscape of my childhood. And being ignorant, as I am, I assumed that having a local was a big thing for most people. Yet although, needless to […]

The problem with family albums

By other museum staff on 15 May 2012

Following on from her blogs about William Raban’s film Nightwalks and the key objects within our Dickens and London exhibition, this week PhD student, Joanna Robinson, asks if we can find out more about Dickens’ relatives through the characters in his books than by looking at photographs of them. Joanna is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. As you walk into Dickens and London, the first artefacts to greet you, and ease you into a Dickensian state of mind, are a range of photographs of Dickens’ close family and […]

Connecting to Dickens – Desk vs. Manuscript

By other museum staff on 9 May 2012

Having looked at William Raban’s film Nightwalks last week, PhD student, Joanna Robinson takes a closer look at two of the key objects currently on display in our Dickens and London exhibition at the Museum of London. Joanna  is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. Tonight, in the blue corner – a real heavyweight on loan from a private collector – Dickens’s desk from Gad’s Hill Place! Aaand in the red corner – on loan from the V&A, and complete with annotations – the manuscript of Bleak House! Both contenders promise […]

Dickens Book Club May – David Copperfield

By other museum staff on 4 May 2012

Elizabeth Singleton, Host at the Museum of London, introduces our our final Dickens Book Club book for May, David Copperfield. Hello all, my name is Elizabeth and I work as a Host at the Museum of London.  I must admit that Dickens has always been on the periphery of my literary life. Sure, I have always been acquainted with his work – from the multiple adaptations I have seen on screen and stage – but I have yet, until today, actually delved into the original work. And what better way to start than with the novel the writer described as his ‘favourite […]

Following William Raban – is voiceover the future for Dickens adaptation?

By other museum staff on 1 May 2012

Inspired by William Raban’s film Nightwalks, currently showing in our Dickens and London exhibition, PhD student, Joanna, explores the implications of voiceover in retelling Dickens’ stories for a modern day audience. Joanna Robinson is a PhD student working collaboratively with the Museum of London and the English department at King’s College, London. Lurking in a dark corner of the Dickens and London exhibition, I bide my time. Ready at a moment’s notice to spring forth and pounce upon some unsuspecting member of the public, brandishing a questionnaire. William Raban’s film, The Houseless Shadow, is the exhibition’s final flourish and clearly […]

Views on Victorian London

By other museum staff on 17 Apr 2012

Inspired by our upcoming event at the Museum of London in which Sebastian Groes and Iain Sinclair discuss representations of Victorian London in 19th century literature, we’ve put together a selection of photographs which show the capital at the time. Click on each image below for more information. Taking these images into consideration, do you think the portrayal of Victorian London by Dickens and his contemporaries was realistic? Have your say in the comments section below or join us at the Museum of London on Wed 25 April (event details below). Darkest London with Iain Sinclair and Sebastian Groes Wed […]