Southwark – Charles Dickens 7

Borough High Street ends at London Bridge, but further west is Southwark Bridge which appears often in Little Dorrit. The current bridge was completed in 1921, while the bridge as it is in the novel was an iron bridge, built in 1819.

Little Dorrit crossed the bridge every day when she was working as a seamstress for Arthur Clennam’s mother. Mrs Clennam lived in a dark and gloomy house and in chapter three, Dickens describes the area in the eyes of Arthur.

“He crossed by St Paul’s and went down, at a long angle, almost to the water’s edge, through some of the crooked and descending streets which lie (and lay more crookedly and closely then) between the river and Cheapside . . . An old brick house, so dingy as to be all but black, standing by itself within a gateway. Before it, a square court-yard where a shrub or two and a patch of grass were as rank (which is saying much) as the iron railings enclosing them were rusty; behind it, a jumble of roots.”

Southwark Bridge London

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