Dickens Walk – Part 1

It seems like most of my posts from London have been about the past. Well, I’m not going to stop now!

Being in London, one 19th Century author’s novels became very real – Mr. Charles Dickens. It hit me every day as I walked through the East End that I was walking the same streets that he, and his characters, walked – Fagin’s Saffron Hill and Bleeding Heart Yard in Little Dorrit is literally around the corner. But I’m not going to linger on the East End in this series of posts, but on the law district of London, which form the core of many of Dickens’s novels, such as Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend.

The first place is Lincoln’s Inn, where the old courts of the Chancery used to be. Below is the ‘new’ hall, built in the 19th Century. The old hall across the way was built in Tudor times and was used for chancery sittings up until then.

Lincoln's Inn

The Court of Chancery was the focus of Bleak House. It was where wills were contested and settled – except that cases could last a lifetime, or even several lifetimes – and people literally went insane waiting for a settlement that never came.

On a sunny spring-ish day, all of this bleakness seemed a bit far off, if it weren’t for the fleets of lawyers trundling boxes and folders to court.

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