British historian Ruth Richardson has just published a new book called Dickens & the Workhouse: Oliver Twist & the London Poor (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Photo: Celebrating Dickens 2012
In this book she describes her discovery of the actual workhouse Dickens worked in as a child, and the building's astonishing proximity to a residential house Dickens lived in for years. See her enthuse about her discovery in this video clip:
(full version here)
or read about her petition to save this historical workhouse from demolition here. (It worked, by the way, and the building was saved.)