In 1925, the Fellowship purchased 48 Doughty Street in London, home of Charles Dickens from 1837 to 1839. It was here that he completed Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, wrote Nicholas Nickleby and worked on Barnaby Rudge.
Following the purchase the house was opened to the public as the Dickens House Museum. Now known as the Charles Dickens Museum, it is not these days owned by the Fellowship, but it continues to serve as its head office.
The Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, London
The museum occupies four floors of the house, including the basement. One room, Dickens's drawing room on the first floor (US second floor), has been furnished and decorated as it would have been in his day. The other main rooms are used for permanent and special displays of the museum's treasures, including a variety of paintings, manuscripts and artifacts. In a basement room, a 30-minute DVD on Dickens is shown continually throughout the day. The reception area at the back of the building on the ground floor serves as a small shop.
A variety of events are arranged to take place at the house, especially in the months leading up to Christmas. It has been the practice in recent years to open the house during the Christmas period, providing traditional Victorian hospitality in the season that was so precious to Dickens.
More details are available on the museum's website.
See also www.dickens2012.org for details of the 2012 celebrations marking the bicentenary of Dickens's birth.
Special events are arranged for those who join the Friends of the Charles Dickens Museum. For details, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The officers and other volunteers who carry out the work of the Fellowship work mainly at home, using the space provided at the museum predominantly for meetings. They collect their post from the museum unopened, typically once a week. The staff of the museum are always very supportive, but are unable to provide an administrative service for the Fellowship.
The museum is a charity governed by a Board of Trustees, comprising seven members appointed by the Dickens Fellowship and one representative each of the Corporation of the City of London, the London Borough of Camden and the Museum of London. The Board may co-opt up to three further trustees.