App Name: Dickens' Dark London
Cost: Free (in-app purchases are $1.99)
What does it promise? Dickens: Dark London, by the Museum of London, takes users on a journey through the darker side of Charles Dickens’ London. This unique series of interactive graphic novels is narrated by Mark Strong, who played the villain in Sherlock Holmes.
Does it deliver? As a noted insomniac, Dickens often roamed the city streets gathering inspiration from the people and places he observed. This app provides his writings in conjunction with beautiful illustrations by renowned artist David Foldvari. The graphic-novel app follows Dickens on his night walks of London – the city he called his ‘magic lantern’ and his muse – from the depths of Newgate Prison to the rogues’ gallery in the Seven Dials.
Dark London also comes with an interactive map of London. The app’s stories come together on an 1862 map of London that’s overlaid on a modern satellite map of the capital, allowing users to compare the city that Dickens knew with the London of today.
Can I use it in my classroom? This is an excellent app for learning more about the man that gave us A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist. The Mark Strong narration alone makes it a must-have for late October lessons.
All apps can be found in the iPad apps store under education.