The Thames

Dickens’s London is more elusive than the artful dodger himself

Is Dickens’s London a place, or a state of mind, or a bit of both? I used to ask myself the question all the time when I was literary editor of this periodical and our office in Doughty Street was a few doors down from the Dickens Museum, at no. 48, the house where he lived in the early days of his fame and where his beloved sister-in-law Mary Hogarth died. The deputy lit ed, Clare Asquith, and I used to walk in those days before computers to the press, which was in Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, the scene of Fagin’s lair. We’d pass Bleeding Heart Yard, where so much of