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STEVE McKENNA explores the former haunts of English author Charles Dickens

It’s a reasonable bet to say that right now, someone, somewhere in the world, is reading a tale by Charles Dickens — whether it’s in a paperback, a leather-bound tome, a smartphone or a tablet.

Some people will also be watching screen adaptations of Dickens classics. It might be the most recent TV version of A Christmas Carol — starring Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge — or A Personal History of David Copperfield, a new movie with Dev Patel, of Slumdog Millionaire and Lion fame, as the title character.

Few writers have a legacy like Dickens, whose stories have been translated into more than 200 languages (and who was also renowned for his work as a parliamentary reporter, investigative journalist, magazine editor, public reader/performer, philanthropist and social justice campaigner).

This year is the 150th anniversary of his death, and fans from around the world will head to Britain to make a pilgrimage to Dickens’ former haunts. Although synonymous with London, where most of his yarns were rooted, from the poverty-stricken back-streets and work-houses to the well-to-do law courts and stately mansions, Dickens spent his early years outside the capital.

This is an edited version of the original, full-length story, which you can read here.

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