Micawber Street, N1

Place Name

Literary reference. Wilkins Micawber is the overly optimistic debtor from Charles Dickens’s 1850 novel David Copperfield. He is probably best known for his wry observation: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” This road was named after him since in the novel he lived in adjacent Windsor Terrace where Copperfield rents out a room. In the book Copperfield describes seeing the property for the first time: “Arrived at his house in Windsor Terrace (which I noticed was shabby like himself but, also, like himself, made all the show it could)… My room was at the top of the house, at the back: a close chamber; stencilled all over with an ornament which my young imagination represented as a blue muffin; and very scantily furnished.” The family and their young lodger were forced to move out when Micawber ends up in the debtors’ prison.

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