Our Final Day in London

We began our day for the last time with pastries, coffee and a final Darwin and Dickens Forum in Russell Square.


The students took turns discussing ideas for their final projects.  Our experiences and discussions in London have certainly led to numerous unique and interesting insights about the many connections between the theories of Charles Darwin and the writings of Charles Dickens.


Dr. Saraceno and Dr. Firenze pay close attention to a discussion between the students (or maybe it was an attractive woman crossing Russell Square).

After our class meeting we all walked over to The British Library.


At the library, we had the opportunity to view many famous documents including the Magna Carta and original writings from notable writers including Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll and Shakespeare.


The Darwin and Dickens group poses with Newton outside The British Library.

Later in the day we all headed out to to meet our guide Kim, for a walk called “Darkest Victorian London”. 


Kim told us about the poorest areas of London during Victorian Times and what life was like for the urban poor.  Here, she points out some stairs made famous by Charles Dickens in his novel, Oliver Twist.


Kim took us to Borough Market which still sells fresh meats and produce.  We learned that in Victorian times this food was destined for the tables of London’s richest families while the poor who lived in the surrounding neighborhood made do with tea and bread.


The picture above shows a charity home like those that were popular in Victorian times.  People who benefited from charities during Victorian times had to adhere to some very strict (and often unrealistic) standards in order to receive help.


Above is a warehouse that maintains much of the same characteristics common during Victorian times.  Buildings like this are in demand for movies set during Victorian times.


Kim took us to the Cross Bones Graveyard, an unconsecrated graveyard where paupers were buried through 1853.  Local people have created a memorial to honor those who were buried here.


Kim finished our tour at the only remaining wall of Marshalsea Prison, a “debtor’s prison” where Charles Dickens’s father and family were imprisoned in 1824.  This period of Dickens’s life inspired the novel, Little Dorrit.

All that walking makes us very hungry!


After walking around London for a couple of hours, nothing hits the spot like a nice hot “Toad in the Hole” at an English pub.

Our final day in London came to a close with the group splitting up for various activities such as another trip to Shakespeare’s Globe to see The Merchant of Venice, some last minute shopping or one last trip to the pub.

Tomorrow we plan to meet for breakfast in the morning before leaving for Heathrow to begin the long journey home.  While we are all ready to return home and our class will continue once we return to the states, we are a bit sad to be ending the London phase of our adventure.  With us we take many wonderful memories of our time here together.


“What larks, what larks…..ever the best of friends!”

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


~ by Dr. Musa on June 4, 2007.

3 Responses to “Our Final Day in London”

  1. Greg, Jen and Rick; Bravo! Well done.

  2. Thank goodness for vicarious experiences! I’ve so enjoyed following the course/trip. This is definitely the start of something big…can’t wait for what’s next?

  3. YAY! Erica, you MUST e-mail me as SOON as you get home!!! Missed your phone calls and I have LOTS to tell you when you cross the pond!! ^^

    Love, luck, and lollipops!

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