June 2023: Dickensland: The Curious History of Dickens's London by Lee Jackson

June 25 at 1:00-3:00 PM (PDT) | Virtual Event | Registration Required


Lee Jackson, a well-known expert on Victorian London, will speak about his forthcoming book which focuses on the intriguing history of Dickens’s London and show how tourists have reimagined and reinvented the Dickensian metropolis for more than 150 years.

Tourists have sought out the landmarks, streets, and alleys of Charles Dickens’s London ever since the death of the world-renowned author. Late Victorians and Edwardians were obsessed with tracking down the locations—dubbed “Dickensland”—that famously featured in his novels. But his fans were faced with a city that was undergoing rapid redevelopment, where literary shrines were far from sacred. Over the following century, sites connected with Dickens were demolished, relocated, and reimagined.

Jackson traces the fascinating history of Dickensian tourism, exploring both real Victorian London and a fictional city shaped by fandom, tourism, and heritage entrepreneurs. Beginning with the late nineteenth century, Jackson investigates key sites of literary pilgrimage and their relationship with Dickens and his work, revealing hidden, reinvented, and even faked locations. From vanishing coaching inns to submerged riverside stairs, hidden burial grounds to apocryphal shops, Dickensland charts the curious history of an imaginary world.

Lee Jackson is an author and historian, creator of the popular online sourcebook of Victoriana 'The Dictionary of Victorian London' (www.victorianlondon.org), and an academic advisor to the Charles Dickens Museum. His previous non-fiction books include Dirty Old London (Yale, 2014) and Palaces of Pleasure (Yale, 2019).



The Santa Cruz Pickwick (Book) Club, a branch of the Dickens Fellowship, is a community of local bookworms, students, and teachers who meet monthly to discuss a nineteenth-century novel. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries provide support for the reading group.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries