Very few people have known London as well as Charles Dickens. Apart from the fact that he lived at more than twenty different locations around the capital he regularly walked ten, fifteen and sometimes more miles, observing Londoners, speaking to Londoners and viewing the city and its buildings and districts storing the smells, the accents and the noise in his astonishingly accurate memory for his novels and writings.
If you want proof, grab any half decent history book on London or many of the thousands of books with some celebrity’s take on the capital and look in the index. Almost guaranteed that under the entry Dickens there will be many lines of references as there might be for Pepys , Doctor Johnson and Christopher Wren. No other commentator spoke to Londoners in the way Dickens did. A workaholic, an insomniac , a man who knew his talents and destiny from a very early age Dickens was in every sence a man of his time and possibly the first great celebrity of our modern era.
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