Esoteric London

No. 564: Marylebone Road, NW1

Posted in Literary London, Meteorological, Public Art by esotericlondon on April 26, 2012

Marylebone Road, London, NW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens, 1864-1865:

It was a foggy day in London, and the fog was heavy and dark. Animate London, with smarting eyes and irritated lungs, was blinking, wheezing, and choking; inanimate London was a sooty spectre, divided in purpose between being visible and invisible, and so being wholly neither.

[ Although much has been done to improve the quality of London’s air since the time Dickens wrote Our Mutual Friend, the busy Marylebone Road, on which this Portland stone panel sits, is arguably one of the capitol’s most polluted thoroughfares. The panel is by Estcourt J. Clack and it was placed on the wall in the 1960’s upon the demolition of Dickens’ house in nearby Devonshire Terrace. As well as depicting Dickens himself it shows characters from the works he wrote whilst living there: Scrooge, Mr Dombey and Paul, Little Nell and her grandfather, Mrs Gamp, Mr Micawber, and Barnaby Rudge.R.D.]