Dickens, Charles John Huffam, 1812-1870, novelist

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Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was a writer and journal editor. He was born on 7 February 1812 at 13 Mile End Terrace, Portsea, Portsmouth. Dickens was the second child of John Dickens (1785–1851) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Barrow (1789–1863). Educated first at home and then at a local schools, Dickens received no formal schooling between 1822 and 1824 and was sent to work in a blacking factory in London. Between 1825 and 1827 Dickens was educated at Wellington House Classical and Commercial Academy, London.

In 1827 Dickens started work as a solicitor’s clerk. Between 1828 and 1836 his primary employment was as a journalist, whilst also writing short, often humorous pieces for magazines.

Dickens literary career began in earnest in 1836 with the publication of Sketches by Boz, a collection of short works. He went on to be the author of around twenty novels, as well as short stories, works of non-fiction, poetry, plays, articles and essays. He was the editor of several journals and also undertook reading tours. For a full bibliography of the works of Charles Dickens see Richard Herne Shepherd The Bibliography of Charles Dickens (Manchester: Ireland and company, 1880) or Thomas Hatton and Arthur H Cleaver A Bibliography of the Periodical Works of Charles Dickens (New York: Haskell House, 1973).

In 1836 Dickens married Catherine Hogarth (1816-1879) and they went on to have ten children: Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (1837-1896), Mary Dickens (1838-1896), Kate Macready Dickens (1839-1929), Walter Landor Dickens (1841-1863), Francis Jeffrey Dickens (1844-1886), Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912), Sydney Smith Haldiman Dickens (1847-1872), Henry Fielding Dickens (1849-1933), Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851) and Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens (1852-1902). Charles and Catherine Dickens separated in 1858.

Dickens’s places of residence were primarily in London. His first residence after marriage was Furnival’s Inn, in 1837 he moved to 48 Doughty Street, in 1839 he moved to 1 Devonshire Terrace and in 1851 he moved to Tavistock Square. In March 1856 he purchased Gad’s Hill Place near Rochester as a country retreat.

Charles Dickens died aged 58 on 9 June 1870 at Gad’s Hill Place, Higham, Kent., leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

Epithet: novelist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000205.0x0003cd

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Archives of The Longman Group, 1718-1974 Reading University Library
creatorOf Charles Dickens Legal Papers, 1837-1897 British Library
referencedIn Charles Dickens' Amateur Theatrical Company, Papers relating to, 1848-1948 University of Birmingham, Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections
referencedIn Richard Mackenzie Bacon: Correspondence and Papers, 1752-1874 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
referencedIn Papers of Percy Noble, 19th-20th century Bodleian Library, Oxford
referencedIn Morley Letters, 1850-1868 University of Sussex Library
referencedIn The MacKenzie manuscript, c 1978 University of Sussex Library
referencedIn Longley, Katharine (b 1920), 1812-1993 Senate House Library (University of London)
referencedIn Robert Owen Collection, 1805-1858 National Co-operative Archive
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Birth 1812

Death 1870

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