Take our walking tour guide to one of London’s most famous eighteenth century characters, Dr Johnson, and the beautiful house he lived in.
The most fascinating thing about London is its long history. And here we are in an eighteenth century house and it was owned by Dr Johnson who wrote one of the original english dictionaries in the eighteenth century. So lets go and have a look around where he used to live. He said he was going to get the dictionary done in three years but it actually took him nine years. He rented this house and he had loads of people working for him and every morning he left them a note with a word that he had to define that day. Because he had such a photographic memory he left them the quotes from all sorts of authors from the fourteenth century giving them the references of where the words had appeared.
So here we’ve got some authentic eightenth century dresses that I think we’re allowed to try on so lets give it a go. T I’m going to put on, here’s the instructions, gentleman getting dressed up, I’m going to try that one too.
So, put the shirt over your head. Waistcoat, hat. So this is how Dr Johnson himself would have dressed in the eighteenth century. Kindof heavy, not very comfortable, I have to be honest.
So, getting dressed up, ladies. This looks like a skirt. p they would havebeen bigger back then. Wear the blue dress. Its so heavy. Hope they had servants to do this for them. That’s it, I’m ready to write the dictionary.
There’s also a nice little story associated with this house. During World War II it was used as a barracks for a lot of the firemen that were fighting in the war and they needed to come for a meal and tea. Those same firemen, a lot of them were musicians, so they’d have concerts here twice a month and the then curator of the house, his daughter, Betty, married one of the firemen so it was a nice happy ending.
So this is Dr Johnsons great dictionary of 1755.
So now we’re going to continue exploring London because as Dr Johnson would say, when a man gets tired of London, he is tired of life.
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