rAPPido Review: Dark London

Confession time: I love all things Victorian London. Except for actually wanting to live there – corsets? bustles? the stultifying Victorian morality? No thanks- I love the literature. I love the movies based in that time. I love the Jules Verne inspired sci-fi people now call Steam Punk. I love how the above morality had such a terrible dark side (Jack the Ripper anyone?)

But I especially love the literature.

Which brings me to an app I discovered quite by accident from the Museum of London to compliment their exhibit on Dickens’s London ( I wish I was going to London right now so I could go see it). Entitled Dickens’ Dark London, it is an “interactive graphic novel” that takes you on a tour of London through Dickens’ eyes. Apparently the old auteur was prone to night time meanderings in his fair city and wrote about it in a series called Sketches by Boz. This Graphic novel is inspired by this series.

So far, only the edition on the Seven Dials is available, but soon Newgate Prison and Gin shop will be available for download.

Dickens’ text is on the left side while the illustrations are on the right.

The illsutrations feature red dots that if tapped, give you snippets of information from the conditions of the slums, to miasma.

It aslo features an amazing map that shows where all of the graphic novel editions take place in London. If you slide the timeline bar, the map gradually transitions from 1862 to present day.

Now, before you think I was just goofing off on my iPad, I came across this app while researching another documentary project for the Grade 7s Historical Novels Unit. Although I can’t use it in our project, I think it would be invaluable in terms of giving students an idea of the seedy side of Victorian London.

More on the documentary project to come…


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