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Dickens-Land

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Published: 1911
Language: English
Wordcount: 16,056 / 54 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.5
LoC Categories: PR, GV
Downloads: 387
Added to site: 2008.12.20
mnybks.net#: 22917
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Travel

The central shrine of a literary cult is at least as often its hero's home of adoption as his place of birth. To the Wordsworthian, Cockermouth has but a faint, remote interest in comparison with Grasmere and Rydal Mount. Edinburgh, for all its associations with the life and the genius of Scott, is not as Abbotsford, or as that beloved Border country in which his memory has struck its deepest roots. And so it is with Dickens. The accident of birth attaches his name but slightly to Landport in South-sea. The Dickens pilgrim treads in the most palpable footsteps of "Boz" amongst the landmarks of a Victorian London, too rapidly disappearing, and through the "rich and varied landscape" on either side of the Medway, "covered with cornfields and pastures, with here and there a windmill or a distant church", which Dickens loved from boyhood,[6] peopled with the creatures of his teeming fancy, and chose for his last and most-cherished habitation.

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that "from time to time it had a part in almost every tragedie". But the grimness of its grey walls is relieved by a green mantle of clinging ivy, and though it can no longer be said of the Castle that it is "bathed, though in ruins, with a flush of flowers", the beautiful single pink grows wild on its ramparts.

From the Castle to the "Bull" in the High Street is a transition which seems almost an anachronism. It is but to follow in the traces of the Pickwick Club. The covered gateway, the staircase almost wide enough for a coach and four, the ballroom on the first floor landing, with card-room adjoining, and the bedroom which Mr. Winkle occupied inside Mr. Tupman's--all are there, just as when the club entertained Alfred Jingle to a dinner of soles, a broiled fowl and mushrooms, and Mr. Tupman took him to the ball in Mr. Winkle's coat, borrowed without leave, and Dr. Slammer of the 97th sent his challenge next morning to the owner of the coat. The Guildhall, with its gilt ship for a vane, and its old

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