The following is a list of important dates in the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens and key contemporary events that occurred in society.
- August (21). John Dickens was born in London, the son of William Dickens and Elizabeth Ball.
- December (21). Elizabeth Barrow is born, the daughter of Charles Barrow and Mary Culliford.
- October (28). Frances “Fanny” Dickens (1810 – 1848) born.
- February (7). Charles John Huffam Dickens, son of John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow in Landport, Portsmouth.
- March (4). Charles christened at St. Marys Church in Landport, Portsmouth.
May (11). Tory Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated
- March. Alfred Dickens born. He died in September of the same year.
- January. John Dickens is posted from Portsmouth to the London Navy Pay Office.
- Family rent rooms above a grocery shop at Norfolk Street.
- Letitia Dickens (1816 – 1893) born.
- Harriet Dickens (1819 – 1827) born.
August (16). Peterloo massacre in Manchester
- John Dickens writes a story for The Times.
- Frederick Dickens (1820 – 1868) born.
- The Dickens family moves to Bayham Street in Camden Town, London.
- Alfred Dickens (1822 – 1860) born.
- April. Fanny Dickens enrolled at Royal Academy of Music.
- Summonses issued against the Dickens family for non payment of debts.
- December (26). Dickens family move to Gower Street North.
- February. Charles Dickens starts work at Warren’s Blacking Factory.
- February (20). John Dickens arrested for debt and sent to the Marshalsea Prison.
- May (28). John Dickens released from the Marshalsea Prison.
- Dickens is schooled at the Wellington House Academy.
- John Dickens retires on a pension of £145 a year.
- Charles’s studies continue at Wellington House Academy, but his family’s financial situation worsens and makes the costs of schooling for Fanny and Charles increasingly unbearable.
During 1827, Charles Dickens turned 15. At the time he was continuing his schooling at Wellington House Academy, London. However, shortly after his birthday the family fell behind with rent payments and were evicted. Dickens was pulled out of Wellington House, and in May, through connections made by his mother, he obtained work as a clerk at the law firm of Ellis and Blackmore at Gray’s Inn in London’s Holborn area. He would continue working here for the next eighteen months. While there, he started to learn shorthand reporting, a skill that led him into his writing career, firstly as a journalist and then as a novelist. In the evenings, Dickens enjoyed regularly attending the theatre. In November, Augustus Dickens, the youngest brother of Charles was born. His nickname in his younger years becomes the inspiration for Charles’s pen name ‘Boz‘ early on in his writing career.
- The Dickens family moves back to lodgings above a grocer’s shop at Norfolk Street.
- Dickens becomes a freelance reporter at the Doctors’ Commons.
- Dickens meets Maria Beadnell, his first love interest.
May (30). World’s first regular passenger train service begins, linking Canterbury to Whitstable, powered by Robert Stephenson’s Invicta steam locomotive.
- Dickens works as a parliamentary reporter.
- Starts writing for The Mirror of Parliament.
- The relationship with Maria Beadnell ends.
- A Dinner at Poplar Walk, the first published work, appears in The Monthly Magazine.
July (26). The Slavery Abolition Bill is passed by Parliament. It leads to the eventual outlawing of slavery throughout the British Empire.
- Dickens becomes a reporter on The Morning Chronicle.
- August. Begins using the pseudonym “Boz“.
- Autumn. Meets fellow writer at The Morning Chronicle and future father-in-law, George Hogarth.
October (16). Houses of Parliament destroyed by fire.
- Autumn/Winter. Meets his future wife, Catherine Hogarth.
1835: The Municipal Corporations Act gives local councils powers and responsibilities for the provision of public utilities including gas, water supplies and sewage, police and fire units.
- January (31, Saturday).The Evening Chronicle newspaper is launched. Dickens is commissioned to write a series of twenty Sketches of London for the paper. The first, Hackney-Coach Stands appears in the first edition.
- Becomes engaged to Catherine Hogarth.
- February (5). Visits Coldbath Fields and Newgate prisons, gathering material for his observations of London life. Writes to Catherine about his experiences.
- February (7, Saturday). The sketch Gin-Shops is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- February (19, Thursday). The sketch Early Coaches is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- February (28, Saturday). The sketch The Parish is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- March (7, Saturday). The sketch The House is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- March (17, Tuesday). The sketch London Recreations is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- April (7, Tuesday). The sketch Public Dinners is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- April (11, Saturday). The sketch Bellamy’s is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- April (16). The sketch Greenwich Fair is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- April (23). The sketch Thoughts about People is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- May (9, Saturday). The sketch Astley’s is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- May (19, Tuesday). The sketch Our Parish is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- June (6, Saturday). The sketch The River is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- June (18, Thursday). The sketch Our Parish is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- June (30, Tuesday). The sketch The Pawnbroker’s Shop is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- August (11, Tuesday). The sketch Private Theatres is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- August (20, Thursday). The sketch Our Parish is published in The Evening Chronicle.
- September (27, Sunday). The first of a number of sketches appears in Bell’s Life in London with the publication of Seven Dials.
- October. The publisher John Macrone offers Dickens £100 for the copyright of a collected edition of his newspaper sketches.
- October (4, Sunday). The sketch Miss Evans and The Eagle appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- October (11, Sunday). The sketch The Dancing Academy appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- October (18, Sunday). The sketch Making a Night of It appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- October (25, Sunday). The sketch Love and Oysters appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- November (1, Sunday). The sketch Some Account of an Omnibus Cad appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- November (5, Thursday). In the morning Dickens visits the prisons of Coldbath Fields and Newgate. Returns to lodgings at Furnival’s Inn where he writes to Catherine Hogarth.
- November (22, Sunday). The sketch The Vocal Dressmaker appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- November (29, Sunday). The sketch The Prisoners Van appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- December (13, Sunday). The sketch The Parlour appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- December (27, Sunday). The sketch Christmas Festivities appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- January (3, Sunday). The sketch The New Year appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- January (17, Sunday). The sketch The Streets at Night appears in Bell’s Life in London.
- February (8). Dickens first book, Sketches by Boz is published by John Macrone.
- March (31). The Pickwick Papers is first published. It is serialized monthly between March 1836 and October 1837.
- April (2). Dickens marries Catherine Hogarth at St. Lukes, Chelsea.
- April. Charles and Catherine honeymoon for a week in Chalk, Kent.
- April (18). Dickens holds a meeting with Robert Seymour, the then illustrator of the The Pickwick Papers. Two days later Seymour commits suicide.
- June. Sunday Under Three Heads, a campaign pamphlet under the name Timothy Sparks against a proposed law prohibiting all work and all recreation on Sunday, is published.
- August (22). Signs an agreement with Richard Bentley to write two novels.
- Dickens’s play The Strange Gentleman and the ballad-opera The Village Coquettes are staged at the St James’s Theatre.
- Resigns from The Morning Chronicle and The Evening Chronicle.
In January, Dickens and Catherine were still living in the Furnival’s Inn when their first child, a son, was born. With the lodgings being unsuitable to raise a family, they moved to a nearby house at Doughty Street in March. The new house would be a place of grief soon after when Charles’s young sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, to whom he was devotedly attached, died very suddenly. In the autumn Charles stayed at Broadstairs, his first visit to the Kent seaside town which he became very fond of, and where he stayed for a number of successive years. In current affairs, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom in June.
- January (6). The first of Dickens 10 children, Charles Culliford Boz Dickens, is born.
- January (21). Dickens is first elected to join the Garrick Club.
- January (31). Oliver Twist is published between January 1837 and March 1839.
- March (6). Is She His Wife?, a comic burletta and Dickens’s most risqué work, opens at the St James’s Theatre.
- March (25). Dickens moves his new family from Furnival’s Inn into new lodgings at Doughty Street.
- April (3). The Peregrinations of Pickwick, W. L. Rede’s adaptation of The Pickwick Papers opens as a three-act burletta opens at Adelphi Theatre.
- May (3). Dickens attends anniversary dinner of the Literary Fund Society. Amongst other members present were Richard Bentley, John Macrone and William Ainsworth.
- May (7). Dickens attends a production of his Is She His Wife? at the St James’s Theatre with his wife Catherine, and her sister Mary Hogarth.
- May (8). In the early hours Mary Hogarth, Catherine’s sister, is taken ill. She dies that afternoon.
- May (13). Mary Hogarth is buried at Kensal Green cemetery.
- June (16). John Forster takes Dickens to see Othello at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Forster introduces Dickens to the actor and theatre manager, William Charles Macready, who would become a close friend for the rest of his life.
- June (30). Visits Coldbath Fields and Newgate prisons along with friends William Macready, John Forster, George Cattermole and Hablot Browne.
- July. Dickens and Catherine, along with friend Hablot Browne, take a week’s long holiday across the channel, from Calais to Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp.
- September (9). John Macrone, Charles Dickens’s first publisher, dies aged 28.
- Dickens’ beloved older sister, Fanny, marries Henry Burnett.
- January (30). Dickens and Hablot Browne travel to Yorkshire to visit boarding schools.
- February. Dickens begins work on Nicholas Nickleby.
- March (6). Dickens’s second child, Mary, is born.
- March (30) – September 1839. Nicholas Nickleby is published.
- Dickens is elected a member of the Athenaeum club.
June (28). Coronation of Queen Victoria
- September. Dickens and family holiday on the Isle of Wight, passing through Portsmouth en-route.
September (17). London to Birmingham line opens and the railway boom begins
- October (29/30). Dickens and Hablot Browne visit Leamington Spa en route to the Midlands and Wales.
- October (31). Dickens travels through the Midlands to Shrewsbury, staying overnight.
- November. Dickens resigns from the Garrick Club.
- November (19). First stage dramatization of Nicholas Nickleby opens at the Adelphi Theatre. Runs for over a hundred performances.
- November (21). Dickens visits Adelphi Theatre to see a performance of Nicholas Nickleby.
- December (5). Dickens visits William Charles Macready having written The Lamplighter for him.
- December (11). Along with John Forster, Dickens again visits William Charles Macready for a reading of The Lamplighter for him.
- March. Visits Exeter, rents a cottage in nearby Alphington for his parents.
- March (30). Dickens chairs a dinner given to William Charles Macready at the Shakespeare Club.
- April (30). Charles Dickens rents Elm Cottage, Petersham (until Aug 31) and spends a lot of that summer there.
- July (20). Dickens is a speaker at a banquet to honour William Charles Macready at the end of his tenure of Theatre Royal Covent Garden.
- September (20). Dickens finishes writing Nicholas Nickleby.
- October (5). A dinner to celebrate completion of Nicholas Nickleby is held at the Albion Tavern. Dickens is prseented with a portrait drawn by Daniel Maclise.
- October (23). Nicholas Nickleby is first published in one volume. The novel is dedicated to William Charles Macready.
- October (29). Dickens’s third child, Kate Macready, is born.
- December. The Dickens family move into large premises at Devonshire Terrace, near Regents Park.
January (10). A new national postal service with a univeral rate, the penny post, begins. The first stamps go on sale a few months later
- January (14). Dickens attends an inquest at Marylebone workhouse into death of the infant child of a young maid, Eliza Burgess.
- April. The Old Curiosity Shop is published weekly between April 1840 and February 1841.
- July (6). Dickens, along with William Makepeace Thackeray, attend the public hanging of François Benjamin Courvoisier outside Newgate Prison. A crowd of around 40,000 witness the execution.
- February. Barnaby Rudge. is published weekly between February and November.
- February (8). Their fourth child, Walter Savage Landor, is born.
- Summer. Charles and Catherine tour Scotland.
- January (2). Charles and Catherine travel to Liverpool, staying the night at the Adelphi Hotel in preparation for their journey to America.
- January (3). Charles and Catherine depart from Liverpool on the steamship SS Britannia to America.
- June (7). Departs America for England, sailing in the George Washington.
June (22). Mines Act bans children under 10 from working in mines and females from working underground.
- June (29). Returns to Liverpool and departs for London.
- August (1). The Dickens family leave London to spend the summer in Broadstairs. Stay there two months.
August (29). The Treaty of Nanking is signed, ending the First Opium War (1839–42) between the United Kingdom and China, and ceding Hong Kong to the British Empire
- December (6). Charles and Catherine visit the St. John’s home of the poet and friend Thomas Hood, along with friend and painter Daniel Maclise.
- January. Martin Chuzzlewit is published monthly between January 1843 and July 1844.
- August – September. Spends the summer in Broadstairs.
- October (2). Returns to London from Broadstairs.
- October (5). Gives a speech to members of the Manchester Athenaeum on the virtues on education and learning at the institution.
- December (19). A Christmas Carol is published (in one volume). All 6,000 copies of the initial print run sell out within days.
- January (6). A pirated version of A Christmas Carol appears.
- February (5). Edward Stirling’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol opens at Adelphi Theatre.
- February (26). Gives a speech at the Liverpool Mechanics’ Institution.
- February (28). Gives a speech in aid of the Birmingham Polytechnic Institution.
- April (4). Dickens stays over at York to attend a funeral the following day.
- April (5). Dickens takes an early morning coach to Malton to attend the funeral of his friend Charles Smithson.
- Dickens’s fifth child, Francis Jeffrey (Frank) is born.
- Dickens and family travel to Italy for an extended stay.
- December (2). Gives a private reading of The Chimes at John Forster’s house.
- Summer. Works on a production of Every Man in his Humour.
September. Irish potato famine begins. It is estimated that about a million people died during the four-year famine and led to the emigration of a further million people
- September (20). Stages Every Man in his Humour at Miss Kelly’s Theatre in Soho.
- October (28). Dickens’s sixth child, Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson, is born.
- November (3). Dickens co-founds and appointed first editor of a new morning paper, The Daily News.
- January (21). The Daily News first published.
- February (9). Dickens resigns as editor of the The Daily News.
- April (21). Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson, baptized at the church of St. Mary Marylebone.
- May (31). Dickens and his family set off for Switzerland.
- June (11). The Dickens family stay at the Villa Rosemont just outside Lausanne, Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
June (30). Prime Minister Robert Peel resigns after the Corn Laws are repealed
- October. Dombey and Son is published monthly between October 1846 and April 1848.
- November (16). Family leave Villa Rosemont and head for France.
- November (20). Dickens family arrive in Paris, initially staying at the Hotel Brighton and later renting a house at No. 48 Rue de Courcelles.
- March. Charles and Catherine Dickens return to London. Rents a house at 1 Chester Place, Regents Park from March – June.
- April (3). Withdraws Charley from King’s College School due to outbreak of Scarlet Fever.
- April (18). Dickens’s seventh child, Sydney Smith Haldimand, is born at Chester Place.
- June (27). Sydney Smith Haldimand baptized at the church of St. Mary in Marylebone.
- July (28). Appears at Theatre Royal Liverpool as a performer in an amateur performance of Every Man In His Humour.
- November. Urania Cottage opens.
- May (15). Dickens manages and performs at a charity night at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in aid of Shakespeare’s House at Stratford-upon-Avon.
- June (5). Appears in charity performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor in Liverpool.
- June (27). Appears in charity performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham.
- September (2). Dickens’ beloved older sister, Fanny, dies.
- November (27). Stays at Bedford Hotel, Brighton.
- November (28). Stays at Bedford Hotel, Brighton.
- December. The Haunted Man, Dickens last Christmas book is published.
- January (7). Sets off for a short holiday with Mark Lemon and John Leech, travelling to Norwich. Visits Norwich Cathedral and Stanfield Hall. The party then depart for Yarmouth, staying two days at the Royal Hotel.
- January (8). In Yarmouth. Walks to Lowestoft and back.
- January (9). Departs Yarmouth. Return to London, via Cambridge.
- January (16). Dickens’s eighth child, Henry Fielding Dickens, is born.
- May. David Copperfield is published monthly between May 1849 and November 1850.
- July – October. The Dickens family spend three months in Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.
- November (13). Dickens attends the execution of the Mannings at Horsemonger Lane Gaol. Writes a strongly worded letter to The Times newspaper later that day.
- November (27). Dickens visits Rockingham Castle.
- December (27). Dickens resigns his membership of the Garrick Club (for a second time).
- March (30). First edition of Household Words. The article The Amusements of the People, about theatre, is published in the first edition.
- August (16). Dickens’s ninth child, Dora Annie Dickens, is born.
- January (25). A Child’s History of England first appears in Household Words.
- February (15). Red Tape is published in Household Words.
- February (26, Wednesday). Attends a farewell benefit evening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for the actor William Charles Macready.
- March. Introduced to Wilkie Collins.
- March (1). Gives speech at a public dinner honouring the retirement of the actor William Charles Macready.
- March (31). John Dickens, father of Charles, dies from a urethral infection
- April (14). Dora Dickens dies when she is only eight months old.
May (1). The Great Exhibition opens at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London.
- May (10). Gives speech on sanitary reform at Gore House, Kensington.
- June (14). On Duty With Inspector Field is published in Household Words.
- Catherine Dickens suffers a nervous collapse and is sent to Malvern in Worcestershire for recuperation.
- What shall we have for Dinner?, a cookbook by Catherine Dickens is published.
February (14). Great Ormond Street Hospital opens in London.
- February (13/14). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
- March (13). A Sleep To Startle Us is published in Household Words.
- Bleak House is published monthly between March 1852 and September 1853.
- Dickens’s tenth child, Edward Bulwer Lytton (or “Plorn”), is born.
- July – October. Rents property over the Summer at Camden Crescent, Dover. The stay is interrupted by a tour with amateur players, taking in London, Nottingham, Derby, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sunderland, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.
- September (3). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
- October. Leaves Dover for Boulogne.
- January (10). Dickens gives his first public reading of one of his works, A Christmas Carol, in Birmingham.
- Dickens tours Italy.
October. Outbreak of the Crimean War, initially between Russia and Turkey.
March (27). Britain joins the Crimean War.
- April (1). Hard Times begins serialisation in Household Words. it is published weekly between April and August.
- April (24). Dickens presides at a birthday dinner in honour of William Shakespeare, held at the Garrick Club.
August (31). Severe outbreak of cholera in Soho area of London that goes on to kill 616 people. Physician John Snow discovers the disease is spread by contaminated water.
- Dickens has a disappointing reunion with Maria Winter (Maria Beadnell).
- June (27). Gives a speech on administrative reform at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London.
- December. Little Dorrit is published monthly between December 1855 and June 1857.
- December (22). Gives a reading of A Christmas Carol in aid of the Sheffield Mechanics Institute.
March (30). The Treaty of Paris is signed, marking the end of the Crimean War.
- Dickens works with Wilkie Collins on The Frozen Deep.
- Dickens purchases Gad’s Hill Place, near Rochester in Kent.
- March (15). Arrives in Dover for an extended stay.
- May (23) Leaves Dover.
- December (6). The Wreck of the Golden Mary is published in the Christmas edition of Household Words.
- February. Charles Dickens obtains possession of Gad’s Hill Place.
- April. Dickens, Catherine and Mary spend several days at Wate’s Hotel, Gravesend while work is being done at Gad’s Hill Place.
- Hans Christian Anderson visits Dickens at Gad’s Hill Place.
May (10). Members of the Bengal army mutiny in India.
- Summer. Visits Canning Town. Describes the squalid conditions he finds there in an article entitled ‘Londoners over the border‘, published in Household Words on 12 September.
- Dickens meets Ellen Ternan.
- February (9). Gives talk at Freemasons’ Hall to help support Great Ormond Street Hospital.
- Dickens separates from his wife, Catherine.
- Spring/Summer. The Garrick Club Affair.
- July (12). Dickens resigns from the Committee of the Garrick Club.
- July (21). Dickens attends a meeting at the Princess’s Theatre, London, to discuss the setting up of a home for retired actors.
August (2). Government of India Act is passed. The East India Company, the de-facto rulers of India, lose control to the British Crown.
- August (18-20). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
- Augsut (21, Saturday). Dickens travels overnight by ferry from Holyhead arriving in Dublin for a tour of Ireland. Whilst in the city he stays at the Morrison’s Hotel, Nassau Street.
- August (27, Friday). Takes a train from Dublin to Belfast. In the evening, Dickens gives his first Belfast performance at the Victoria Hall with a reading from A Christmas Carol.
- August (28, Saturday). In the morning Dickens takes a walk from Belfast to Carrickfergus and back. Returns to give an afternoon reading of the story of Little Paul from Dombey and Son. In the evening he gives another public performance, with readings from The Poor Traveller, The Boots at the Hollytree Inn, and the Mrs Gamp episode from Martin Chuzzlewit.
- August (30, Monday). Travels from Belfast to Cork. Gives a reading of A Christmas Carol at 8pm at the Atheneum.
- August (31, Tuesday). Cork. Gives two more public readings at the Atheneum, at 1.30pm and at 8pm.
- September (1, Wednesday). Travels to Limerick, final stop in his tour of Ireland. Stays at the Royal Hotel and read for two nights at the Theatre Royal.
- September (2, Thursday). Limerick. Writes from the Royal Hotel to his nephew describing the success of his readings in Dublin, Belfast and Cork.
- September (4, Satuday). Dickens is back at home in Gads Hill, Kent.
- October (15). Returns to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, giving readings.
- October (21). Returns to the Nottingham Mechanics’ Institution, giving readings including A Christmas Carol.
- December (3). Dickens gives a speech at the annual meeting of the Institutional Association of Lancashire and Cheshire, held in the Free-trade Hall, Manchester.
- December (4). Dickens attends a dinner in his honour at the Castle Hotel, Coventry.
- April (30). Launch of All the Year Round, a weekly magazine founded and owned by Charles Dickens.
- A Tale of Two Cities is published weekly between April and November in All the Year Round.
- March. Visits Liverpool. Visits the Liverpool Workhouse and sees the conditions of soldiers in hospital.
- July (17). His daughter, Katie, marries Charles Allston Collins.
- Just ten days after Katie’s marriage his brother, Alfred, dies.
- September (3). Dickens burns his personal papers.
- September (11). Dickens’s seventh child, Sydney Smith Haldimand, joins the Royal Navy.
- December (1). Great Expectations is published weekly in All the Year Round between December 1860 and August 1861.
- December (15). First series of The Uncommercial Traveller published.
- February. Charles Culliford Dickens returns to London from working overseas , in preparation for marriage.
April (12-13). The American Civil War begins following the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederate States Army, and the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army.
- May (22). Dickens hires a steamer for the day from Blackwall to Southend. Eight or nine friends, and three or four members of his family, were on board.
- August (3). Last installment of Great Expectations is published in All the Year Round.
- August. Great Expectations published in volume form.
- November (19). Charles Culliford Dickens marries Bessie Evans at St. Mark’s Church in Regent’s Park.
- December. Dickens gives a charitable reading at the Rochester and Chatham Mechanics’ Institute.
December (14). Queen Victoria‘s husband, Prince Albert, dies aged 42.
- March-June. Gives public readings in London.
January (10). World’s first underground railway opens in London when the Metropolitan Railway starts services between Paddington and Farringdon.
- January. Gives charity readings at the British Embassy in Paris.
- June. Gives public readings in London.
- Dickens’ mother, Elizabeth, dies.
- Dickens reconciles his friendship with William Makepeace Thackeray at the Athenaeum club.
- His son, Walter, dies in India.
- April (12). Gives a speech in support of free health care for the poor, held at the Willis’s Rooms, London.
- May (1). Our Mutual Friend is published monthly between May 1864 and November 1865.
May (9). The American Civil War is declared at an end by President Andrew Johnson.
- June. Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson emigrates to Australia.
- June (9). Dickens is involved in the Staplehurst railway crash, with Ellen Ternan and her mother.
- November.Our Mutual Friend published in volume form.
- December. Second series of The Uncommercial Traveller published.
- Dickens undertakes a three month national reading tour.
- June (5). Gives a speech in support of Ninth Anniversary Festival of the Railway Benevolent Society, held at the Willis’s Rooms, London.
- November (2). Dinner held for Charles Dickens at the Freemasons’ Tavern to celebrate his second visit to America.
- November (9). Dickens tours America for the second time, sailing for Boston from Liverpool.
- November (19). Arrives in Boston.
- December (2/3/5/6) Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
- December (7). Travels from Boston to New York.
- December ( 9/10/12/13/16/17/19/20) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
- December (21). Travels from New York to Boston.
- December (23/24). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
- December (25). Travels by rail from Boston to New York.
- December ( 26/27/28/30/31) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
- December (26). In England, No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, opens at Adelphi Theatre.
- January (2/3) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
- January (6/7). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
- January (9/10) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
- January (13/14) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.
- January (16/17/20/21)) Gives readings at the Plymouth Church, Brooklyn.
- January (23/24) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.
- January (27/28) Gives readings at the Concordia Opera House, Baltimore.
- January (30/31) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.
- February (3). Gives readings at Carroll Hall, Washington and speak. Event is attended by President Andrew Johnson.
- February (4/6/7). Gives further readings at Carroll Hall, Washington.
- February (7). Dickens meets with President Andrew Johnson at the White House.
- February (10/11). Gives readings at the Concordia Opera House, Baltimore.
- February (13/14). Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.
- February (18). Gives readings at the Allyn Hall, Hartford, Connecticut.
- February (20/21). Gives readings at the City Hall, Providence, R.I..
- February (24/25/27/28). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
- March (9). Gives readings at the Wieting Hall, Syracuse.
- March (10). Gives readings at the Corinthian Hall, Rochester.
- March (12/13). Gives readings at the St James’s Hall, Buffalo.
- March (14/15). Visits Niagara Falls.
- March (16). Gives readings at the Corinthian Hall, Rochester.
- March (18/19). Gives readings at the Twiddle Hall, Albany, New York state.
- March (20). Gives readings at the Music Hall, Springfield, Massachusetts.
- March (23). Gives readings at the Mechanics’ Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts.
- March (24). Gives readings at the Music Hall, New Haven, Connecticut.
- March (25). Gives readings at the Allyn Hall, Hartford, Connecticut.
- March (27). Gives readings at the Liberty Hall, New Bedford, Massachusetts.
- March (30). Gives readings at the City Hall, Portland.
- April (1/2/3/6/7/8). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
- April ( 13/14/16/17/20) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
- April (18). Attends a public dinner at at Delmonico’s restaurant, New York, hosted by the members of United States press.
- April (22). Departs New York, sailing on the Cunard ship Russia.
- May. Dickens returns to England and tours.
May (26). Michael Barrett was hanged at Newgate, the last person to be publicly executed in the UK.
- October (15). Dickens is in Liverpool staying at the Adelphi Hotel. Writes to his son Henry about his allowance whilst a student at Cambridge University.
- January (5). Dickens gives his first Murder of Nancy reading.
- January (22). Charles Dickens gives readings at the Assembly Rooms, Cheltenham.
- February (24/26). Gives readings at the Music Hall stage at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh.
- April (5-9). Charles Dickens gives readings in Liverpool.
- April (10). Liverpool. Banquet held in honour of Charles Dickens at St George’s Hall.
- April (11-13). Gives readings in Dublin.
- April (22). Whilst on a reading tour Dickens is visited in Preston by his Doctor, Mr. Beard and advised to discontinue readings.
- August (30). Attends a dinner held by the London Rowing Club at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham.
- Dickens begins writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
- September (27). Gives a speech to the Birmingham and Midland Institute.
- January – June. Dickens rents 5 Hyde Park Place from Thomas Milner Gibson as a London base.
- January (11) – March (15). Between these dates, Dickens gives a series of twelve readings at St. James’s Hall in Piccadilly, London. They are to be his last series of public readings.
- February (12). Death of George Hogarth, Dickens’s former Father-in-Law.
- March (9). Dickens has an audience with Queen Victoria.
- March (15). Dickens gives his last public reading, held at St. James’s Hall, London, with performances of A Christmas Carol and The Trial from Pickwick followed by a short speech.
- April. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is published between April and September (but never finished).
- June (7). Dickens walks with Georgina Hogarth around the lanes surrounding Gad’s Hill Place.
- June (8). At around 6pm, Charles Dickens suffers a seizure at Gad’s Hill Place. His old friend and family doctor, Frank Beard, is sent for and arrives about midnight.
- June (9). Charles Dickens passes away at Gad’s Hill Place at around 6pm, around twenty-four hours after the initial seizure.
- June (14). Charles Dickens is buried in a service at Westminster Abbey.