Thank you for your visit today to The Circumlocution Office. At the Circumlocution Office we look at the life and times of one of history’s great writers, Charles Dickens who lived from 1812 – 1870.

Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era and the creator of some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters and campaigner for social injustice.

Even though he was born over two centuries ago, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. To this day, his work continue to inspire popular culture, including television, film, art and literature and he remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world.


Colourful characters.

Charles Dickens created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters such as Fagin, the leader of the gang of child thieves who teach Oliver Twist how to pick pockets; Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly focal character of A Christmas Carol; Wilkins Micawber, the feckless, struggling but charming and eternally optimistic man who works with the greedy Uriah Heep in David Copperfield and Samuel Pickwick, the retired businessman and founder of the Pickwick Club who embarks on a series of adventures with friends Snodgrass, Tupman, Winkle and servant Sam Weller.

Abel Magwitch Bob Cratchit David Copperfield Ebenezer Scrooge Estella Fred Ghost of Christmas Past Ghost of Christmas Present Jacob Marley Jaggers Joe Gargery John Jarndyce Josiah Bounderby Miss Havisham Mrs. Joe Gargery Oliver Pip Samuel Pickwick Stephen Blackpool Thomas Gradgrind

1837 Constable dies. Death of the English landscape painter John Constable, aged 60. The Suffolk-born painter was noted for his scenes of the English countryside, including Wivenhoe Park (1816), Dedham Vale (1821) and The Hay Wain (1821).
1843 Derby triple execution. Outside the Derbyshire County Prison in Vernon Street, Derby, John Hulme, aged 24, Samuel Bonsell, aged 26, and William Bland, aged 39, are publicly hanged at midday. The three had been found guilty of the murder of Miss Martha Goddard in the village of Stanley in September of the previous year. Thousands of spectators turned up to watch the executions, the first in Derby for ten years.
1850 Calhoun dies. Death of the American lawyer and politician John C. Calhoun, aged 68. Calhoun served as the 7th Vice President of the United States, in office between March 1825 and December 1832.
1855 Brontë dies. Death of the English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë, aged 38. Charlotte was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who all became well-known poets and novelists, her siblings being Emily (1818–1848) and Anne (1820–1849). Charlotte is best known for her second novel, Jane Eyre, published in 1847.
1856 Bousfield hanged. At Newgate prison in London, William Bousfield is publicly hanged for the murder of his wife. Four attempts are made to execute Bousfield after he struggles, managing to put his feet on the scaffold to prevent death and leading to The Times newspaper describing that 'nothing horrible of this kind has occurred in England in our recollection'.
1868 Worsley executed. At the Bedfordshire county gaol in St. Loyes Street, Bedford, William Worsley was publicly hanged for the murder of William Bradberry, at Stopsley, Luton, in October of the previous year. Around a thousand spectators turned up to watch the event, which would be the last public execution to be held at Bedford.