Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Dickens, Hardy & London

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Learning and Sightseeing in London

Rob Fenoglio ' 09 - Tuesday was our fourth day in London, but the sightseeing has not slowed down at all. We spent the day touring Chancery Lane and Regent Street.

One of the coolest parts of the day was hearing Mr. Bowen talk about the infamous “Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce” case from Charles Dickens’ novel “Bleak House.” The reason he brought it up during our tour of Chancery Lane was because the origin of the word chancery came from legal cases that were being taken up by the chancellor because the court system wasn’t covering every angle the people wanted. Furthermore, this gave Professor Herzog a reason to bring up a situation where Dickens was heckled by a lawyer, so Dickens punched the lawyer, and the lawyer struck Dickens in the eye. Professor Herzog joked that this was the impetus for Dickens loathing lawyers.

The rest of the day was spent walking through Regent Street – the British equivalent of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and New York’s Time Square. It was really interesting to see all of the lights and Broadway signs in a city where architecture is usually the focus. Professor Herzog’s son, Joe, is an architect and mentioned that a lot of the architecture in London is not original, even though it looks and feels old, because of the many fires and bombings the city has endured. He mentioned that one building was even built from bricks, but then was covered in stucco to create the look that it was an older building, when it was in fact fairly new. The building, which is located right across from Regent’s Park, was given an arched shape so that it made the park seem more open.

It’s things like these a student could never fully understand or grasp if it wasn’t for an immersion trip like this that really lets us experience the culture of the great country of England. Cheerio!