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


March. Charles Dickens visits Liverpool. Visits the Liverpool Workhouse and sees the conditions of soldiers in hospital.

July, 17.  His daughter, Katie, marries Charles Allston Collins.

July, 27. Just ten days after Katie’s marriage Dickens’s brother, Alfred, dies at the Mosley Arms Inn in Manchester, from pleurisy.

September, 3. Dickens burns his personal papers.

September, 11. Dickens’s seventh child, Sydney Smith Haldimand, joins the Royal Navy.

December, 1. Great Expectations is published weekly in All the Year Round between December 1860 and August 1861.

December, 15. First series of The Uncommercial Traveller 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.