CHARLES DICKENS TIMELINE
7th February 1812 - Born in Portsmouth.
4th March 1812 - Christened Charles John Huffham Dickens
January 1815 - John Dickens transferred to London. Charles encounters London for the first time.
1817 - Dickens family move to Chatham in Kent and Charles enjoys the happiest years of his childhood.
1822 - John Dickens transferred to London.
1824 - John Dickens arrested and imprisoned for debt and 12 year old Charles sent to work at Warren's Blacking Warehouse.
1825 - John released from prison and takes Charles away from the blacking warehouse and sends him to school at the Wellington House Academy.
1827 - Starts work for Ellis and Blackmore legal firm.
1830 - Meets Maria Beadnell his first love interest.
1832 - Starts work as a reporter for his uncle - Thomas Barrow's - newspaper The Mirror of Parliament.
1833 - Maria Beadnell ends their relationship.
1833 - His first story A Dinner at Poplar Work is published.
1834 - Moves to lodging in Furnival's Inn.
1834 - Becomes a reporter on The Morning Chronicle and starts writing Sketches By Boz.
1834 - Meets his future wife Catherine Hogarth.
1835 - Becomes engaged to Catherine Hogarth.
1836 - Charles and Catherine are married.
1836 - Writes the first instalments of Pickwick papers.
December 1836 - Meets John Forster who will become his closest friend, business advisor and primary biographer.
1837 - Charley, the first of their 10 children is born.
April 1837 - the family move into a large house in Doughty Street, the house is now the Dickens House Museum.
1837 - Begins writing Oliver Twist.
May 1837 - Dickens is devastated when his young sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth dies at their house.
1838 - Dickens and his illustrator, Hablot Browne, travel to Yorkshire to see the boarding schools.
1838 - His daughter, Mary, is born.
1838 - Begins writing Nicholas Nickleby.
1839 - His daughter, Kate, is born.
1840 - Begins work on The Old Curiosity Shop.
1841 - Begins work on Barnaby Rudge.
1841 - His son Walter is born.
1842 - Charles and Catherine tour America.
1843 - Begins work on Martin Chuzzlewit.
1843 - Writes A Christmas Carol.
1844 - His son Frank is born.
1845 - Another son, Alfred, is born.
1846 - The Dickens family pay a visit to Switzerland.
1846 - The first instalment of Dombey and Son appears.
1847 - Catherine gives birth to another son who is named Sydney
1848 - Fanny, his beloved sister dies.
1848 - Dickens Christmas Book The Haunted Man is published.
1849 - His son, Henry Fielding Dickens, is born.
1849 Dickens starts work on David Copperfield, which is part autobiographical.
1850 - A daughter, Dora Annie, is born.
1851- Catherine Dickens suffers a nervous breakdown.
1851 - Dickens father, John, dies.
1851 - His young daughter, Dora, dies aged just 8 months.
1851 - Catherine Dickens becomes an author herself with the publication of a cook book entitled What Shall we have for Dinner.
1852 - The first instalment of Bleak House is published.
1852 - Catherine Dickens gives birth to another son who they name Edward and nickname "Plorn."
1853 - Dickens gives a public reading from one of his works. Public readings will grow to become a major source of income to him in the years ahead.
public reading of one of his works.
1854 - His book Hard Times is published.
1855 - Maria Beadnell (now Maria Winter) re-appears and they arrange to meet. Dickens is horrified by her appearance and avoids further meetings.
1855 - Starts work on Little Dorrit and visits the site of the Marshalsea Prison for the first time in years.
1856 - He and Wilkie Collins collaborate on the play The Frozen Deep in which Dickens will play the part of the heroic and self-sacrificing Richard Wardour.
1856 - Buys Gad's Hill Place, the house near Rochester that he used to admire on walks with his father when he was a child.
1857 - Hans Christian Anderson stays with Dickens at Gad's Hill Place.
1857 - Meets Ellen Ternan, the girl with whom his last years will become indelibly linked.
1858 - Charles and Catherine Dickens separate.
1859 - A Tale of Two Cities is published.
1860 - The first instalment of Great Expectations in his own magazine All the Year Round.
1860 - Marriage of his daughter, Katie.
1860 - Death of his brother, Alfred.
1860 - Dickens burns his personal papers on a huge bonfire at his house at Gad's Hill.
1863 - Death of his mother, Elizabeth.
1863 - Starts work on Our Mutual Friend.
1864 - Walter, Dickens son, dies in India.
1865 - Returning from France with Ellen Ternan and her mother Dickens is involved in the Staplehurst railway accident.
1867 - Dickens sets off on a public reading tour of America.
1868 - Presents his first public reading of the Murder of Nancy from Oliver Twist. It proves a huge success and even causes audience members to faint!
1869 - Showing signs of age and exhaustion Dickens is ordered by doctors to end his public readings.
1869 - Starts work on The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
1870 - Dickens gives his final public reading.
1870 - First instalment of The Mystery of Edwin Drood is published.
1870 - June 8th - Having spent the day working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood Dickens collapses at the dinner table at Gad's Hill Place.
1870 - June 9th - Having lingered unconscious for the whole day, at 6pm a tear rolls down his cheek and Charles Dickens dies.
14th June 1870 - Following a private funeral service is Westminster Abbey Charles Dickens is buried in Poets Corner.
Sketches by Boz (1836)
Pickwick Papers (1836-37)
Oliver Twist ( 1837-39)
Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39)
The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41)
Barnaby Rudge (1841)
Weekly Magazines Master Humphrey's Clock (1840-41)
Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44)
American Notes (1843)
A Christmas Carol (1843)
The Chimes (1844)
The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)
Pictures from Italy (1846)
The Life of Our Lord (1846)
The Battle of Life (1846)
Dombey and Son (1846-48)
The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1848)
David Copperfield (1849-50)
Household Words (1850-59)
A Child's History of England (1851-53)
Bleak House (1852-53)
Hard Times (1854)
Little Dorrit (1855-57)
Reprinted Pieces (1858)
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Great Expectations (1860-61)
The Uncommercial Traveller (1861)
Our Mutual Friend (1864-65)
All the Year Round (1859-70)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished 1870)