My Impressions

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What I wrote in London

From the hustle and bustle of the Angel interchange, the streets and squares of Pentonville Road are very suburban and quiet. The buildings were mainly built at the time of the Georgiansso there are row upon row of pretty houses with loads of overhanging trees. It probably isn't as quiet as at Dickens' time but it's lovely and very different to the narrow lanes of Saffron Hill and Shoe Lane. Although Dickens only describes ' a quiet shady street near Pentonville' there are lots of green and shady squares where you could see Brownlow occupying. Pentonville road itself is lined with houses front with gardens and beautiful big windows. The first square you come to on the right is Clarence Square and is where you can imagine 'Who will buy' in the film version of Oliver! The square surrounds a reservoir so all you see in the middle is green banks of grass surrounded by iron railings and cobwebs. The houses were beautifully kept and though many of them were 'To Let' it was difficult to seee any one not wanting to live here. I could see Mr Brownlow living here and it evoked the middle class feeling that Dickens wanted to strongly contrast with the slums and mire of Saffron Hill.

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On Reflection

In comparison to the slum area Dickens describes in Saffron Hill, Pentonville is countryside idyll. And though Pentonville Road runs noisily through it today, there is a tranquility and elegance to the streets, many of which were built in the time of the Georgians. Pentonville Road itself is lined with garden-fronted big windowed houses, with streets leading to streets off the side. Claremont Square is the first square you come to on the right. More serene Georgian houses line the sides of the square however. less romantically the centre houses a reservoir. Having researched the reservoir since, I have discovered that it wasn't built till 1855 so it wouldn't have been there when Dickens wrote Oliver Twist. It's easy to imagine Mr Brownlow living in one of these well kept houses. The front of the houses are very reminiscent of the 'Who will buy?' sequence in the 1968 musical adaptation of Oliver! In Oliver Twist, Dickens makes it very clear that the area was polar opposites to the poverty of Saffron Hill and Shoe Lane. Though the difference has decreased over time, the area still retains it's feeling of grandeur and the upper class qualities that Dickens might have seen when he was writing.

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