Visitor to Twickenham in 1838
1812 - 1870
Dickens visits St Margarets
In the summer of 1838 he came to stay in St Margarets. The house whare he stayed is still there. It is almost opposite St Margarets railway station, close to the Catholic Church. It is now 2 Ailsa Park Villas. He was already well known by this time. The book that had made him famous was Pickwick Papers, (1836/7). Then came Oliver Twist, 1837/8.
Local scenes in Dickens' books
Although Dickens did not stay in the area for very long he used many local places in his books. In Nicholas Nickelby Miss Morleena Kenwiggs goes to Eel Pie Island for a picnic. In the same book a duel takes place just across the river, in Ham.
In Little Dorritt (1855/7), Arthur Clennam visits Mr Meagles in his cottage in Twickenham and crosses the River Thames on the ferry to Ham, and back before breakfast.
In Oliver Twist, Bill Sikes takes the unwilling Oliver to help him carry out a burglary in Halliford. On the way they stop for a meal at an inn in Hampton.