The English-Speaking Union

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Charles Dickens' London and The Spirit of Victorian Christmas


Wednesday, December 8 from 4:00 PM (EDT)
Dr. Annamaria Dall'Anese

It is said that writers need a muse to overcome their writer's block. Charles Dickens' muse did not have flowing hair or an ethereal countenance, but solemn churches, heart-warming pubs and dainty cottages: it was London. In this virtual tour, we will visit the sites where the ever-popular novelist lived, as well as the places he frequented in his tireless search for picturesque characters. Bring a warm blanket and a hot drink as we discover how 'the magic lantern', as Dickens called London, shone even brighter at this time of the year, and how the Christmas traditions we know today were shaped by the great Victorian writer.

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Dr. Annamaria Dell'Annese

Dr. Annamaria Dell'Annese works as a Blue-badge guide of London, where she conducts private tours to show domestic and international clients both the most iconic landmarks and the hidden gems of the British capital. Prior to settling in Britain, she lived in over a dozen countries over four continents, where she had the opportunity to develop her passion for the arts and foreign languages. Besides sharing her knowledge of the history of London with her visitors, Annamaria is completing her second self-published book.

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Signature Cocktail

To get everyone in the festive spirit, Dr. Dell'Anneese has suggested a mulled wine for this happy hour.

  • Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.