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Sketches by Boz
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Sketches by Boz > Scenes, 04: Scotland-yard

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Tristram Shandy Dear Pickwickians,

here you can discuss the Sketch "Scotland-yard".


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate I've just read 'Scotland Yard' and had to comment straight away - what a delight!

When I first started reading, I had to stop before I finished the first sentence and look on google maps as to the place he was talking about, because Scotland Yard is synonymous with the London Metropolitan Police. New Scotland Yard isn't quite that close to the river (it's just past Westminster Abbey, moving away from the river) - I wasn't sure if they were the same place. However, now I know that 'Old' Scotland Yard was the earlier site of the Police HQ.

Let me just say that, in his final paragraph, I had a massive grin on my face - it was like he had read my mind and I felt like he was talking directly to me, from the depths of history. Wow! At bit spine tingling! I felt like I was there and could see for myself, the change, all because of the new London Bridge. Mind you, I can imagine the old bridge would have been some sight to behold. I'm almost jealous I never saw it for myself. Mind you, having a look at the history records, Dickens never saw it for himself. The new one was opened in 1831 and the old one quickly demolished. Anyhow, I wonder what the reader of those days thought, thinking about us lot musing over their London?

I was also having flashbacks to the Maypole Inn, when reading parts of the 'pub' scenes. I wonder if the tailor's wife, going to fetch her husband home from the pub, was anything like Mrs Varden? I thought the concerns about the water in the Thames running away, once the old bridge was remove, was typical of conversation and mentality of Willett Snr and friends.


message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim When I read Scotland Yard it reminded me of something I had read about Dickens and Scotland Yard before. I had to go find it:


The staff of Scotland Yard was responsible for the protection of important individuals, community patrols, public affairs, recruitment and personnel management. When the Yard sent out its first plainclothes police agents in 1842, the public felt uncomfortable with these "spies" on the streets. But the force's role in several important cases, and the charisma of many of its detectives, helped it win the people's trust.

One such personality, Inspector Charles Frederick Field, joined the force upon its establishment in 1829. He became good friends with Charles Dickens, who occasionally accompanied constables on their nightly rounds. Dickens wrote a short essay about Field, "On Duty With Inspector Field," and used him as a model for the all-knowing, charming Inspector Bucket in his novel Bleak House. Field retired as a chief of the detective branch in 1852.



message 4: by Kate (new)

Kate Kim wrote: "When I read Scotland Yard it reminded me of something I had read about Dickens and Scotland Yard before. I had to go find it:


The staff of Scotland Yard was responsible for the protection of imp..."


Interesting. I wish I could have tagged along! I think it would be enlightening from both perspectives. I've always been fascinated by Victorian life.

I haven't read Bleak House yet, nor have I watched the BBC production (with Gillian Anderson) all the way through. BTW, that reminds me, did you know Gillian Anderson owns a house on the same street as the Dickens Museum?


message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I didn't know about Gillian Anderson but I'm sure my daughter knows it. One of her favorite television shows was the X-Files, she still drives me crazy talking about it sometimes although now she has mostly moved on to a British show "Sherlock".


Tristram Shandy Kate wrote: "Kim wrote: "When I read Scotland Yard it reminded me of something I had read about Dickens and Scotland Yard before. I had to go find it:


The staff of Scotland Yard was responsible for the prote..."


You mean the museum in Doughty Street? I only was there once, and that was more than twenty years ago. Last year when I went there I found that it was closed because of renovations. Had I known that Gillian Anderson owns a house in that street I would probably have asked if Lady Dedlock was in.


message 7: by Kate (new)

Kate Tristram wrote: "Kate wrote: "Kim wrote: "When I read Scotland Yard it reminded me of something I had read about Dickens and Scotland Yard before. I had to go find it:


The staff of Scotland Yard was responsible ..."


LOL. Yes, Doughty Street. The tour guide told me. I was surprised. I didn't think Gillian Anderson would be such a fan (even though she's obviously played in one of his novels) - I presume her moving into that street was more than coincidental.


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