Celebrations at Birthplace Museum

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Portsmouth & Southsea railway station by Andy Cooper

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Charles Dickens was born in a modest Portsmouth house 200 years ago on February 7 and a number of events have been arranged to mark the occasion.

The house in Old Commercial Road is now preserved as a museum furnished in the style of 1809, the year when Dickens’s parents John and Elizabeth moved in.

To mark Dickens’s bicentenary, the Birthplace Museum will open from January 28 and have a specially extended season this year.

On Sunday February 5 and Tuesday February 7 admission to the museum is free. Both days will have a range of activities plus celebrations in the street including street performers, musicians, food, craft activities and readings of his work.

On February 11 and 12 you can meet the volunteer guides and handle a range of artefacts.

Also from January 28, the City Museum will unveil a new exhibition dedicated to Dickens.

A Tale of One City demonstrates what life was like in Portsmouth from 1812-1870, the years of Dickens’s life. This is free to visit and runs until November.

If you are craving some fresh air, take in one of the Charles Dickens guided walks, when you can discover the area where the Dickens family lived and worked. All walks are free and start at the Victory Gate (entrance to the Historic Dockyard) and finish at the City Museum, Museum Road. The next guided walks take place on February 7 and 18.

n What was Charles Dickens really like? Find out in The News tomorrow.