“The locations in Bleak House act almost as characters in their own right. They convey emotion, mood, atmosphere – and tell us a great deal about the personalities of those that inhabit them. Dickens let reality feed his imagination and it’s still possible to see many of the places that inspired him…” Click Bleak House’s locations – in pictures | Books | The Guardian to read the rest of the article and to see the accompanying images.
My Notes: It is one thing to have never lived in or visited an area covered; or to have lived in or frequented there so long that it has become common place to you; or to have never read any of the works covering the area; but if these factors are not in play, and you have both read about, and briefly visited the locales discussed, the results can bring about a feeling of much wonder and satisfaction. When staying in London during my two short working stints there, I was fortunate enough to stay in the Chancery Lane Station / High Holborn area. Quite a bit of Bleak House centers around Chancery Lane, Lincoln’s Inn Field, etc. (which I wasn’t aware of before listening to the audio book). Knowing that you have walked through the places referenced, and contemplating how much has changed there in such a relatively short period of time (as to the whole scheme of things), can leave a very strong impression upon the mind of one who is sensitive to, and appreciative of, such things.
To picture in the mind’s eye how it was back then, and to compare it to what we are able to currently see or recall, can engender a stream of thoughts and considerations that are altogether new or uncommon to us. As stated in an earlier post on Bleak House, it gives… or at least should give… much cause for gratitude/thanksgiving. Think about what a changed world we have in only 170 years or so. Buildings may physically be the same (for the most part), the fields and street names may be the same, but the differences in people, the clothing, the food, the stores, the medicine, the means of transportation, the means of conducting business, the forms of entertainment, and all of the awe-inspiring technology at hand should utterly astound us (especially when considered through the narrow lens of those living in the 1800s). What a great distinction; two periods in history, existing in the very same space, but manifested in reality so very differently — all on account of that very strange and mysterious aspect of our reality called… time. I can only imagine what the next 150 to 200 years will bring, let alone the next 1,500 to 2,000 years… if humanity is still here and if we continue to progress in our technological knowledge/understanding at the same pace.