Exhibition is truly great

Great Expectations exhibition in Wisbech Museum
Great Expectations exhibition in Wisbech Museum
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The world of Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ has been bought to life in Wisbech and Fenland Museum.

The manuscript for the piece of iconic English literature was left to the museum and is currently on display as part of an exhibition funded by Heritage Lottery.

But the centrepiece has to be a recreation of Miss Haversham’s wedding feast, created in detail by local artist Fred White.

The long table has been set out with items of food, including a massive wedding cake, covered in cobwebs and decaying.

The majority of the things on the table have been made out of recycled materials, such as old sponge cushions turned into the wedding cake and cardboard boxes turned into gateaux.

The gallery room in the museum is full of information and excerpts from the novel but curator David Wright said the challenge was working out how to create an exhibition about a book.

Fenland Poet Laureate Elaine Ewart has written a sonnet inspired by ‘Great Expectations’ and a page from Illustrated London News has been blown up.

To further demonstration the harshness of Victorian life that now seems so far in the past, despite only being less than 100 years ago, the headpiece from the Guyhirn Gibbet is on display.

A video screen is on loan from the Museum of London, showing illustrated scenes from Dickens. The loan was in return for the Wisbech Museum lending the manuscript to the London Museum earlier in the year.

• The exhibition will be on display at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum until Christmas.