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.


July (26). The passenger steamship SS Great Britain, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, embarked on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York.

Summer. Dickens 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.

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.