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.


February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 36th birthday.

February, 24. Following several days of revolution in Paris, King Louis Philippe I of France abdicates and flees to England.

March, 15. Hungarians peacefully revolt in Budapest, forcing the city’s Habsburg authorities to accept a 12 Point plan for freedom and self-determination.

April, 10. A large mass meeting of Chartists is held on Kennington Common, London, believed to number 150,000 protestors.

April, 11. The first Hungarian national government is formed.

April, 18. The Second Anglo-Sikh War breaks out in the Punjab.

May, 15. Dickens manages and performs at a charity night at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in aid of Shakespeare’s House at Stratford-upon-Avon.

June, 5. Dickens appears in charity performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor in Liverpool.

June, 27. Dickens appears in charity performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Theatre Royal, Birmingham.

August, 19 (Saturday). A literary review of Narrative of the Expedition sent by her Majesty’s Government to the river Niger in 1841 written by Charles Dickens is published in The Examiner.

September, 2. Dickens’ beloved older sister, Fanny, dies.

November, 27. Stays at Bedford Hotel, Brighton.

November, 28. Stays at Bedford Hotel, Brighton.

December. The Haunted Man, Dickens last Christmas book is published.

December, 10. Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte is elected first president of the French Second Republic.

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.