Although Dickens moved around a lot, his last remaining London home, which he rented for £80 a year when he was 30, is now his testament. A museum since 1925, and restored to a period look in 2012 (when the attic and kitchen were opened for the first time), these four floors don’t exude many Dickensian vibes; after all, he departed in 1839 after staying less than 2 years. It could be anyone’s humble home. Still, his celebrity got a kick-start while he lived here: Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, arguably his biggest hits, were written while he was in residence. As you inspect his desk, his razor, and bars from a prison where his spendthrift dad was locked up, an unpleasant realization sets in: Charles Dickens was a brilliant storyteller, one of the most gifted in the history of the English language, but also a jerk. Tough on his kids and unfaithfully cruel to his wife, his other great talent seems to have been for ego.