Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

I fly like paper, get high like planes…

I’m 99% sure that this will be a shorter than the current average post…but i’ve thought that quite a few times in my short history of this blog.  Today I set off and ticked another two places that I had wanted to visit off my ever shortening list – The Dickens House Museum and the British Library.

I started off through more fate than design, as my random strolling away from the tube station arrived at its doorstep.  Even though I was actually trying to find the British Library.  Now Charles Dickens isn’t much of a personal hero of mine, I have read a few of his books, but by and large I would’ve seen more TV shows, movies and simpsons interpretations of his stories than those that I have read.  That being said, it was a good short place to visit.

After sitting throuh a short movie on his life, I explored what was only Dickens’ house for a few years of his life – although both Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelby were written in those walls so it was an important residance.  Each room was set up partially “as it would’ve been” but also with a seem such as “Dickens’ women”, “Dickens and the Poor”, etc.  I was amazed at how many tables, chairs, items and papers that were on display in this relatively small house.  I took great interest in some of the original manuscripts that were on display but also the somewhat ‘dirty’ side to Dickens such as his affairs, arrogance and use of his own celebrity for profit.
I then eventually found my way to the British Library and it was brilliant.  There were two main displays “Taking Liberties: The struggle for freedom and rights” as well as the permanent display of the “treasures of the British Library”.  Seeing papers and books from over 1000 years ago was astonishing to me, paper/parchment/animal hide just should have survived that long.  It was also amazing to see the level on detail and attention that was given to the “art of writing” in the recent, and not so recent past.  Especially when you compare it to today…and probably more specifically this rather lazily crafted blog.  Of the items that were on display the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, Original writings of Shakespeare (as well as the different editions with differences in the narrative depending on the publisher’s want) and the original Beatles song lyrics were probably some of my favourites…but really the maze of different important and ancient writings on display truly shocked me, in a good way.

I have to say though that the Liberties exhibit is probably the best crafted museum display that I have been through on this trip so far. It was set up in a logical manner, that was easy to follow, and the choice of displays actually was able to extract some emotion from me. Particularly when it was showing the struggles people have had to go through just to get basic human rights, through the actual documents that denied/finally granted them those rights. Maybe I’m not the cold-hearted individual I thought I was eh? :P

Okay…done, maybe this post wasn’t as short as I had hoped but what can I say, I had a fun day.  A fun day that will continue when I see Slumdog Millionaire with Riza tonight.

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January 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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