The following is a detailed timeline we are compiling of the movements of the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens during the year 1838, as we come across them in letters, newspaper articles and other research. We have also included some key contemporary events that occurred in society.
Missing a date? if you know of any movements not covered here we would welcome letting us know, along with a reference to any source material so we can try to fill in the gaps.
- 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.