The life of Charles Dickens is a remarkable one, and many of the events during his lifetime helped to inspire much of his work, especially his time spent at Warren’s Blackening Factory, following his father’s arrest. As timelines have become somewhat of a theme for the site, its seemed fitting to create another, which focused on the private and professional events of Dickens’s life. Enjoy!
Born at Mile End Terrace in Portsmouth.
Father (John Dickens) posted to London, and the family move to Norfolk Street, London.
The family moves to Chatham, Kent.
The Dickens Family settles at 16 Bayham Street, London.
Dickens sent to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory.
Dickens’s Father John Dickens arrested for Debt and sent to Marshalsea Prison. The younger children and Elizabeth join him soon after.
John Dickens gets his release under the Insolvent Debtors Act.
Dickens is removed from the Blackening Factory, and sent to Wellington House Academy, Hampstead Road.
Leaves School and becomes a solicitors clerk.
Becomes a Parliamentary reporter.
Given an audition at Covent Garden Theatre but falls ill and was unable to attend.
Dickens first published work, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, appeared in The Monthly Magazine.
Moves to 13 Furnival’s Inn, Holborn.
Marries Catherine Hogarth, at St Lukes Church, Chelsea.
Collection of Dickens’s published stories are collated into his first book ‘Sketches by Boz’.
Pickwick Papers serialisation begins.
Dickens’s first Child (Charles) born.
Moves to 48 Doughty Street.
Sister-in-law Mary Hogarth Dies.
Dickens, editor of the Bentley’s Miscellany, a literary magazine, first appears.
Oliver Twist serialisation first appears in Bentley’s Miscellany.
Second Child (Mary) born.
Nicholas Nickleby serialisation begins.
Oliver Twist Published.
Third Child (Kate) born.
Moves to 1 Devonshire Terrace, Regents Park.
The Old Curiosity Shop serialisation begins in Master Humphrey’s Clock.
Forth Child (Walter) born.
Barnaby Rudge serialised in Master Humphrey’s Clock.
Sets sail from Liverpool and embarks on his first visit to America, accompanied by his wife, Catherine.
American Notes published.
Martin Chuzzlewit serialisation begins.
A Christmas Carol Published.
Dickens and his family move to Italy for the year.
Fifth child (Walter) born.
The Chimes Published.
Sixth Child (Alfred) born.
The Cricket on the Hearth published.
With his family, resides in Switzerland and then Paris for part of the year.
Pictures from Italy Published.
Becomes the editor or The Daily News.
Dombey and Son serialisation begins.
The Battle of Life published.
Seventh child (Sydney) born.
The Haunted Man published.
Eighth child (Henry) born.
David Copperfield serialisation begins.
Ninth child (Dora) born.
Household Words serialisation, edited by Dickens, begins.
Dickens Father dies.
Dickens baby Daughter (Nora) dies.
A child’s History of England serialisation begins in Household Words.
Dickens tenth child (Edward) born.
Bleak House serialisation begins.
First public reading of A Christmas Carol.
Hard Times serialisations begins.
Little Dorrit serialisation begins.
Purchases Gad’s Hill Place, Kent.
Dickens meets Ellen Ternan.
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices serialisation begins in Household Words.
First paid reading tour begins.
Separates from Catherine, following a period of unhappiness and many rumours surrounding his relationship with the actress, Ellen Ternan.
New weekly journal, All the Year Round, begins.
Tale of Two Cities appears in All the Year Round.
The Uncommercial Traveller begins in All the Year Round (Two articles will be based in Liverpool; Poor Mercantile Jack, and The Great Tasmania’s Cargo)
Great Expectations serialisation begins in All the Year Round.
Death of Dickens’s mother Elizabeth.
Death of Dickens’s forth child (Walter) in India.
Serialisation of Our Mutual Friend.
The Staplehurst accident: Dickens and Ellen Ternan involved in serious train accident.
Arrives in Boston for American reading tour.
Dickens last Christmas story, No Thoroughfare, published in All the Year Round.
The Atlantic Monthly publishes George Silverman’s Explanation.
Our Young Folks publishes A Holiday Romance.
Liverpool held a farewell banquet after his final reading in the city, to honour the author and his work.
UK reading tour broken off after Dickens became unwell.
Received by Queen Victoria.
Gave twelve farewell readings in London.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood serialisation begins but only six out of twelve were ever published.
Dickens dies after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage at his home, Gad’s Hill.
Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Hawksley Dickens, Lucinda. Charles Dickens Bicentenary 1812-2012. London: Andre Deutsch Book, 2011.