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. Part XIV (chapters 12–14) of Little Dorrit published.

February. Part XV (chapters 15–18) of Little Dorrit published

February. Charles Dickens obtains possession of Gad’s Hill Place..

March. Part XVI (chapters 19–22)  of Little Dorrit published.

April. Part XVII (chapters 23–26) of Little Dorrit published.

April. Dickens, Catherine and Mary spend several days at Wate’s Hotel, Gravesend while work is being done at Gad’s Hill Place.

May. Part XVIII (chapters 27–29) of Little Dorrit published.

June. Parts XIX-XX (chapters 30–34) of Little Dorrit published.

May (10). Members of the Bengal army mutiny in India.

Summer. Hans Christian Anderson visits Dickens at Gad’s Hill Place.

Summer. Visits Canning Town. Describes the squalid conditions he finds there in an article entitled Londoners over the border, published in Household Words on 12 September.

Dickens meets Ellen Ternan.

November (5, Thursday). Dickens attends the fourth anniversary dinner of the Warehousemen and Clerks Schools, held at the London Tavern. Gives an address.

December (15). Gives a reading of A Christmas Carol at the Corn Exchange, Coventry in aid of the Coventry Institute.

December (27). Gives a charitable reading for the Rochester and Chatham Mechanics’ Institute.

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.