When Charles Dickens was born in this modest house in Portsmouth, on 7th February 1812, Britain's Navy was still at war with Napoleonic France. Charles's father, John Dickens, a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, had brought his young bride Elizabeth down to Portsmouth in the summer of 1809, renting the house as the first home of their married life.
The furniture, ceramics, glass, household objects and decorations faithfully re-created the Regency style which Charles's parents would have favoured, although their actual possessions have long since been dispersed.
There are three furnished rooms: the parlour, the dining room and the bedroom where Charles was born. The exhibition room features a display on Charles Dickens and Portsmouth, as well as a small collection of memorabilia: the couch on which he died at his house in Kent, together with his snuff box, inkwell and paper knife, poignant reminders of an author celebrated for his prodigious talents and creative output.
Latest News! Portsmouth museums receive national recognition (March 2016)
Six Portsmouth museums have been awarded national accreditation status by Arts Council England. Charles Dickens' Birthplace, Cumberland House, D-Day Museum, Eastney Beam Engine House, Portsmouth Museum and Southsea Castle have all achieved the coveted status. The accreditation scheme sets nationally agreed standards for all museums in the UK. It allows participating museums to demonstrate their commitment to managing collections effectively for the enjoyment and benefit of audiences. Applicants are assessed against a set criteria which covers a range of museum activities.
The six Portsmouth City Council operated sites have had to demonstrate they meet requirements relating to governance and management, services and facilities and care and management of collections. Visitors to the museums will benefit from the work done as it includes the creation of a customer charter which features 10 points to ensure all guests have the best possible experience. It is also hoped the announcement will help boost future projects to the museum as accreditation status can strengthen applications for public funding and it also provides a level of reassurance to anyone donating items, collections or funds.
There are currently more than 1,700 Accredited Museums in the scheme, from very small volunteer-run museums to large national institutions. Annette French, museums accreditation manager, Arts Council England, said: “Being awarded accreditation is an impressive achievement. It recognises the high standard and service that Portsmouth museums provide and acknowledges the hard work of the volunteers and staff.”
The Major works of Charles Dickens
These are the major works of Dickens in date order.
|Sketches by Boz
Old Curiosity Shop
A Christmas Carol
The Cricket on the Hearth
Dombey and Son
A Tale of Two Cities
Our Mutual Friend
A man who could build a church, as one may say, by squinting at a sheet of paper.