Charles Dickens is exhausted. In this year 1869, the most famous and popular British writer had to stop his last literary tour, his “Farewell Tour”.. He reluctantly left these public sessions that he loves so much, where he reads his works to crowded and conquered rooms, where he recounts, almost in a trance, the assassination of Nancy by Sikes in “Oliver Twist.” Seventy-four shows, from town to town, on English roads. In Preston he passed out, regained consciousness, his body was half paralyzed. His doctor put the kibosh on it.
Charles Dickens decides to go and rest in a new establishment that all the good British society is talking about. The Imperial Hotel, which had opened two years earlier, was in Blackpool, on the north-west coast of the country. Right in this “charming hotel on the beach” (“a charming hotel by the sea”), as he would later write, the novelist regains his strength, finds sleep, appetite, even the energy to walk along the long sandy beach, enjoying the splash of the Irish Sea.
It is a magnificent red brick building, set on the seafront, typical of the Victorian style of the time. It was designed by Clegg & Knowles, one of the most famous architectural firms in Manchester, the largest city in the Lancashire region, about 70 kilometers to the south. There were only two hotels in Blackpool then, for everyone and everything, and the Imperial was, by far,
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