In the rough stage, I always like to give my own take... In the middle above, I thought it might be interesting to show him between two shop windows, the reflections relating to the two books coming out, like two versions of him. They still wanted the crowd - ah well, you've always got to give it a shot!
(Did I mention that I am not a fan of doing crowd scenes? And on a quick turnaround especially? Well, the above right is my answer to a crowd - this way I was still able to have you still see Dickens somewhat largely and give the impression that there are many surrounding him.)
Here's the final: