The following is a detailed timeline we are compiling of the movements of the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens during for each year of his adult life, as we come across them in letters, newspaper articles and other research. We have also included some key contemporary events that occurred in society.


January (6). A pirated version of A Christmas Carol appears.

January (8). Dickens issues proceedings for an injunction against the publishers Lee and Haddock.

January (10). Injunction against the publishers Lee and Haddock issued.

January (11). Injunctions against the four other publishers for pirated versions of A Christmas Carol.

January (18). Publishers Lee and Haddok attempt to overturn the injunction against them at a hearing at Westminster Hall. It is thrown out.

February (5). Edward Stirling’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol opens at Adelphi Theatre.

February (26). Travels to Liverpool with his sister, Fanny and brother-in-law. Gives a speech at the Mechanics’ Institution.

February (28). Travels by train to Birmingham. Gives a speech in aid of the Birmingham Polytechnic Institution at the Town Hall. Stays over at Dee’s Royal Hotel in Temple Row.

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.

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.