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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Golden Arm

Just off Charing Cross Road is the area known as Soho. The first buildings were developed in the 1670s. when it was an area favoured by the aristocracy until newer squares were built in Mayfair and gradually the wealthy upper classes moved out and newly arrived immigrants moved in. In the early 18th century there was a high French population and it became known as Petty France. It is no wonder that Dickens imagined the character Dr Manette, from A tale of Two Cities, lived here during the French revolution. This street is named Manette Street in honour of the Dicken's character. It was changed from its original name of Rose street in 1895. Dicken's wrote: '... in a building at the back, attainable by a courtyard where a plane tree rustled its green leaves, church organs claimed to be made, and likewise gold to be beaten by some mysterious giant who had a golden arm starting out of the wall......as if he had beaten himself precious.'

High up on the wall can be seen a replica of the golden arm, the original being on display in the Dickens museum.


 I am sure many people walk past every day and never look up at the golden arm orwonder what it means.

7 comments:

  1. Some Soho history I was unaware of, but I can't help but break into song, 'see them all in Soho Square, dropping aitches everywhere'.

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  2. I have no doubt most folk walk by this place and miss seeing the golden arm up above. I love the “beaten himself precious” line. What an interesting history and I should have known but didn’t realize Dickens had a museum devoted exclusively to his life and work. That would absolutely be a must-see for me should I travel to your neck of the woods.

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  3. I seem to remember Soho being a bit more famous for something else when I was a teenager.

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  4. We missed it. Must come back (I wish!). I've been reading and/or re-reading Dickens. We saw some of the places where he "hung out" as he wrote.

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  5. Nice picture! I would miss the arm myself. I never seem to look up.

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  6. Gosh! How could you go there and NOT wonder what it was??!! Great story!!

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  7. Wow! I don't think I would have noticed that! I certainly don't remember reading about it in A Tale of Two Cities... should probably read it again and look for the reference! ;o)

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