Perhaps like most of you, our first exposure to the Victorian era English writer and social critic, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was in Freshman year of high school. Within his 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories (as well as having edited a weekly journal for 20 years), Dickens had created some of the world's "...best known fictional characters." As his wealth began to grow, he signed a two year lease (1837-1839) on a four floor Georgian Terrace home on Doughty St. London. Dickens lived here with his wife Catherine and the three eldest of his ten children. For a time, Dickens' brother Frederick and Catherine's sister Mary also lived here (although Mary died towards the end of 1837 at the age of 17). While residing in this home, Dickens completed "Pickwick Papers", "Oliver Twist", and "Nickolas Nickleby" as well as beginning work on "Barnaby Rudge". In 1839, Dickens decided to move into a larger and grander home. The Doughty Street home is the only one of Dickens residences that has survived. It was almost demolished in 1923 but was eventually saved by the Dickens Fellowship trust. This home was opened as a museum in 1925.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.