Charles Dickens’ desk saved for the nation

    Charles Dicken's desk and chair
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    The desk on which ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Our Mutual Friend’ and ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ were written to go on display at author’s former London home.

    Dickens's Dream by RW Buss
    Dickens’s Dream by RW Buss

    The Charles Dickens Museum in London has purchased the world-famous author’s desk and chair with the help of a grant rom the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).

    Since his death in 1870, Charles Dickens’ desk and chair has become almost totemic of the man. So much so, this particular desk and chair, which he used in his final home, Gad’s Hill Place in Kent, are depicted in two paintings begun in the year of this death – The Empty Chair by Luke Fildes and Dickens’ Dream by RW Buss.

    The items were passed through the Dickens family after his death before being auctioned for the Great Ormond Street Charitable Trust in 2004. They are currently in private ownership and could have been sold at public auction if they had not been bought by the Museum. The desk and chair are on display at the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

    Carole Souter, Chief Executive of NHMF, said: “Charles Dickens is one of the UK’s most celebrated literary figures, whose stories and characters means he is as popular today as he was in this lifetime. It’s exciting news that visitors to his London home will now have the unique opportunity to see the very desk at which some of his most famous works were created.”

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