The A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural exhibition at the British Library covers the fascination that Charles Dickens had for the macabre. With more than a few ghostly goings on throughout the course of Dickens’ work, it’s clear that there was a distinct interest in the supernatural, and the exhibition digs under the skin of this to reveal some great insights into where they came from and what they actually meant.

Dickens and the Supernatural needs to be taken in the context of being a small and free exhibition at the British Library and within that it’s a great little find. It’s got a timeline feel to it that charts Dickens’ initial thoughts on the supernatural, his scientific take on it all and his burgeoning fascination with mesmeric influences.

The best bit about the exhibition is that there are a good few snippets of info about Dickens that makes you understand him a little bit more; like the notion that people having an animal attraction to each other is a scientific phenomenon and that he could harness it on others, or that he would often invite people to write into his weekly periodicals with their ghost stories to try to explain them from a scientific standpoint.

While the A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural exhibition at the British Library lacks the visual interaction that could have made it much more engaging, it is still an informative and entertaining display. Part of the Dickens 2012 series of events to celebrate the 200th birthday of the great writer, it will be on display until the 4th March 2012.

A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural exhibition review: 3.5/5