King's Gallery (formerly Old King's School Shop), Canterbury. c. 1647. Photographs and commentary below by George Landow You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or to the Victorian Web in a print document. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]
How this picturesque Canterbury shop managed to stay upright is anyone's guess, but its continued presence in the twenty-first century — think of how many more such buildings the Victorians confronted in their daily lives — should remind us how the past and present always intertwine.
One can guess what Dickens would have made of it for something like The Old Curiosity Shop. Describing such structures in a novel written during an age of industrial expansion and modernity does not so much become a matter of realism (or lack of it) but of theme or ideology; that is, how representative of contemporary reality does the author take it to be?
Compare this building to the supposed source in London of Dickens's novel.
Created 21 December 2005
Last modified (reformatted) 31 March 2022