Appena duecento anni fa nasceva Charles Dickens e uno scrittore in grado di raccontare la società inglese con gli occhi di un bambino. Molto amato dagli inglesi, la novella The Christmas Carrol è stata argomento di interessanti speculazioni ‘socio-indagative’, lo scorso natale.
‘A decent society depends on the rich learning to be generous and the poor being saved from ignorance and want.’ ( ) A letter to Charles Dickens on his 200th birthday|The Guardian
Giusto sotto il periodo di natale, The Times pubblicò una mappa delle località in cui Dickens visse e inscenò alcune parti dei suoi romanzi
48 Doughty Street. Dickens and his wife, Catherine, moved here in 1837, a year after their marriage. He later described it as 'a frightfully first-class family mansion, involving awful responsibilities'. Today it houses the Charles Dickens Museum, which is open every day of the year.
Fleet Street. In his twenties Dickens as a parliamentary correspondent and reporter. Many of London's newspapers had offices here and he set up his own paper, the Daily News, at No 90 in 1846. He drank regularly ay Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which still stands at No 145
George and Vulture. An 18th-century inn where Dickens often drank, mentioned several times in The Pickwick Papers:'Mr Pickwick and Sam took up their present adobe in very good, old-fashioned, and comfortable quarters, to wit, the George and Vulture Tavern and Hotel, George Yard, Lombard Street.' Today it is a chop house
Spitalfields. Dickens pubblished a description of a visit to Spitalfields in 1851, when the weaving industry was in decline. He visited a solk warehouse with W.H.Wills, his sub-editor, and they found it 'difficult to reconcile the immense amount of capital which flows throught such a house as this -the rich stores of satin, velvets, lute strings, brocades, damasks, and other silk textures- with the poignant and often-repeated cry of povert that proceeds from this quarter'.
Seven Dials. 'From the irregular square,' Dickens wrote of this slum area in 1835, 'the streets and courts dart in all directions, until they are lost in the unwholesome vapour which hangs over the house-tops, and renders the dirty perspective uncertain and confined; and lounging every corner..are groups of people, whose appearance and dwellings would fill any mind but a regular Londoner's with astonishment.'
The Thames. On his insomnia-fuelled night walks, Dickens explored the river, where many of the city's invisible inhabitants gathered. Learning of the suicides from Waterloo Bridge, he wrote that 'the river had an awful look, the buildings on the banks were muffled in black shrounds, and the reflected lights seemed to originate deep in the water, as if the spectres of suicides were holding them to show where they went down'.