Distinguished literary critic John Sutherland writing in The Guardian…
"One of the liveliest PhD students I ever supervised, an American named David Tucker, with a broad streak of Barnum in his Wisconsin makeup, decided, having completed his dissertation on Dickens, against an academic career. The best way he could serve his beloved author, Tucker resolved, was by conducting street-by-street tours around the sizeable fragments of Dickens's London that have survived the wrecking ball. He's made a good living out of it, and done some good practical education in the process.
Tucker's 'Original Dickens Walks' do not shirk the filthy chimneys where apprentice sweeps like Oliver Twist would - after a year or two's clambering - contract cancer of the scrotum. Nor Newgate, where Fagin swung, tongue and penis protruding in the rictus of death, for the delectation of many of the same people who enjoyed a Dickens novel. Nor the Thames, where the Hexhams fished out suicide corpses for whatever money and jewellery they took with them in their drop off the bridge. Nor Hungerford Stairs on the South Bank, which Dickens, remembering his boyhood suffering as a child labourer in Warren's Blacking Factory, would, for the whole of his subsequent life, make long, shuddering, detours to avoid. Dickens did not always like Dickens's world."
A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.