Get down there quick! For some strange reason, the management of the Dickens House Museum has chosen this year, the bicentenary of Dickens' birth (7th February 1812) to close the museum for eight months for a complete refurbishment.
If you want to see the house he lived in with his wife Catherine between 1837 and 1839, almost as he left it, complete with bare wooden floorboards, stone steps to the basement and freezing basic toilet, please do make sure you go before the closure planned for April 2012. After that, it will never be the same again. There will be PC terminals, a lift and modern display boards (taking the place of the simple laminated sheet in each of the rooms open to the public).
I visited yesterday, and was overwhelmed by the lack of pretension and the simple, effective displays, mostly consisting of wooden furniture, nearly all of it owned by Dickens, family portraits, framed copies of original letters, and many, many bookcases full of copies of old editions of the complete works.
A treat for literary types.