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London's Dickens Museum reopens after makeover

The Associated Press, Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 6:59am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — Charles Dickens' London home has gone from Bleak House to Great Expectations.

For years, the four-story brick row house where the author lived with his young family was a dusty and slightly neglected museum. It was a mecca for Dickens scholars, but overlooked by most visitors to London.

Now, after a 3-million-pound ($4.8-million) refurbishment, it has been gleamingly restored to bring the writer's world to life. Visitors can tour the rooms where Dickens lived between 1837 and 1839, and where he wrote "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Oliver Twist."

The museum's director said Wednesday that it aims to look "as if Dickens had just stepped out."

The Dickens Museum reopens to the public Monday and hopes to draw 45,000 visitors a year, a 50 percent rise on pre-refurbishment levels.

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