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 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 and major news events from across the world at the time.


1851.

January, 4 (Saturday). 41st edition of Household Words is published.

January, 11 (Saturday). 42nd edition of Household Words is published.

January, 18 (Saturday). 43rd edition of Household Words is published.

January, 25 (Saturday). 44th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the first part of A Child’s History of England.

February, 1 (Saturday). 45th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 1. Death of the author Mary Shelley (born in 1797).

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 39th birthday.

February, 8 (Saturday). 46th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 15 (Saturday). 47th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article Red Tape.

February, 22 (Saturday). 48th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 26 (Wednesday). Attends a farewell benefit evening at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for the actor William Charles Macready.

March. Introduced to Wilkie Collins.

March, 1 (Saturday). 49th edition of Household Words is published.

March, 1. Gives speech at a public dinner honouring the retirement of the actor William Charles Macready.

March, 8 (Saturday). 50th edition of Household Words is published.

March, 15 (Saturday). 51st edition of Household Words is published.

March, 22 (Saturday). 52nd edition of Household Words is published.

March, 29 (Saturday). 53rd edition of Household Words is published.

March, 30 (Sunday). The United Kingdom Census of 1851 takes place. It is the first to include detailed ages, date of birth, occupations, and marital status of those listed. The population of the UK is revealed to have reached 21 million.

March, 31 (Monday). John Dickens, father of Charles, dies from a urethral infection.

April, 5 (Saturday). 54th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 12 (Saturday). 55th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 14. Dickens gives a speech at the Sixth Annual Dinner of the General Theatrical Fund, held at the London Tavern. After it has ended he is told the tragic news of the death of his daughter Dora.

April, 14. Dora Dickens dies when she is only eight months old.

April, 19 (Saturday). 56th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 26 (Saturday). 57th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 1. The Great Exhibition opens at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London.

May, 3 (Saturday). 58th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 10 (Saturday). 59th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article The Guild of Literature and Art.

May, 10 (Saturday). Dickens gives speech on sanitary reform at Gore House, Kensington.

May, 17 (Saturday). 60th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 24 (Saturday). 61st edition of Household Words is published.

May, 31 (Saturday). 62nd edition of Household Words is published.

June, 7 (Saturday). 63rd edition of Household Words is published.

June, 14 (Saturday). 64th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article On Duty With Inspector Field.

June, 21 (Saturday). 65th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 28 (Saturday). 66th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 5 (Saturday). 67th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 12 (Saturday). 68th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 19 (Saturday). 69th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 26 (Saturday). 70th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 2 (Saturday). 71st edition of Household Words is published.

August, 9 (Saturday). 72nd edition of Household Words is published.

August, 16 (Saturday). 73rd edition of Household Words is published.

August, 23 (Saturday). 74th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 30 (Saturday). 75th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 6 (Saturday). 76th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 13 (Saturday). 77th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 20 (Saturday). 78th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 27 (Saturday). 79th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 4 (Saturday). 80th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 11 (Saturday). 81st edition of Household Words is published.

October, 15 (Wednesday). End of the Great Exhibition.

October, 18 (Saturday). 82nd edition of Household Words is published.

October, 25 (Saturday). 83rd edition of Household Words is published.

October, 25 (Saturday). Dickens writes to the Mayor of Reading, addressed from Tavistock House, about the possibility of visitng the town to perform in aid of the Guild of Literature amd Art.

October, 31 (Friday). Dickens writes again to the Mayor of Reading, addressed from the Guild of Literature amd Art (10 Lancaster Place, Strand, London), offering to perform in the town on Tuesday, 9 December of that year (it is later moved to Tuesday, 23 December).

November, 1 (Saturday). 84th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 8 (Saturday). 85th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 10 (Monday). Dickens performs at the Assembly Rooms, Bath.

November, 12 (Wednesday). Bristol. Dickens visits Bristol, staying at the Bath Hotel, Clifton. Perfroms that evening at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton.

November, 13 (Thursday). Bristol. Dickens writes several letters from his hotel at Clifton, including to his wife Catherine, and to Henry Austin.

November, 14 (Friday). Bristol. Dickens gives a second perfromance at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton that evening.

November, 15 (Saturday). 86th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 22 (Saturday). 87th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 29 (Saturday). 88th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 6 (Saturday). 89th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 13 (Saturday). 90th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 19 (Friday). Death of the painter J. M. W. Turner (born in 1775).

December, 20 (Saturday). 91st edition of Household Words is published.

December, 23 (Tuesday). Dickens performs at the Town Hall, Reading in aid of the Guild of Literature amd Art.

December, 27 (Saturday). 92nd edition of Household Words is published.

(?) Catherine Dickens suffers a nervous collapse and is sent to Malvern in Worcestershire for recuperation.

(?) What shall we have for Dinner?, a cookbook by Catherine Dickens is published.


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.


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