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.


1866.

January, 31 (Wednesday). Dickens gives a charity reading at Mydelton Hall, Islington. Reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

February, 14 (Wednesday). Dickens attends the tenth anniversary festival of the Dramatic, Equestrian, and Musical Sick Fund, held at the Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St. James’s, London. Gives a speech as president.

March – May. Dickens undertakes a three-month national reading tour. He travels with his tour manager, George Dolby.

March, 23 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading at the Assembly Rooms, Cheltenham. Reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

March, 24 (Saturday). Dickens gives a reading at the Assembly Rooms, Cheltenham. Reads from Dombey and Son.

March, 28. Dickens gives a speech at the annual meeting of the Royal General Theatrical Fund, held at the Freemasons’ Tavern, London.

April, 10 (Tuesday). Gives a reading at St. James’s Hall, London. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Bob Sawyer’s party from The Pickwick Papers.

April 11-14. Liverpool. Dickens visits Liverpool for a series of readings in the town, and also in Manchester. Stays at the Adelphi Hotel.

April, 11 (Wednesday). Dickens gives a reading at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Nicholas Nickleby. staying at the Adelphi Hotel.

April, 12 (Thursday). Dickens gives a reading at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Nicholas Nickleby. After the performance he travels back to Liverpool, returning to the Adelphi Hotel.

April, 13 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 14 (Saturday). Dickens gives a reading at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Reads from Dombey and Son.

April, 17 (Tuesday). Dickens gives a reading in the City Hall, Glasgow. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Bob Sawyer’s party from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 18 (Wednesday). Dickens gives a reading in the Music Hall, George Street, Edinburgh. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Nicholas Nickleby.

April, 19 (Thursday). Dickens gives a reading in the City Hall, Glasgow. Reads from A Christmas Carol and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 20 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading in the Queen Street Hall, Edinburgh. Reads from Boots at the Holly-Tree Inn and both the Bob Sawyer’s party and trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 21 (Saturday). Dickens gives a reading in the Queen Street Hall, Edinburgh. Reads from David Copperfield.

April, 24 (Tuesday). Gives a reading at St. James’s Hall, London. Reads from Doctor Marigold and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 26 (Thursday). Dickens gives a reading at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester. Reads from Doctor Marigold and both the Bob Sawyer’s party and trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

April, 27 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Nicholas Nickleby.

April, 28 (Saturday). Dickens gives a matinee reading at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 1 (Tuesday). Gives a reading at St. James’s Hall, London. Reads from David Copperfield and Boots at the Holly-Tree Inn.

May, 2 (Wednesday). Dickens gives a reading in the concert room of Crystal Palace. At 3pm, he reads from Dombey and Son.

May, 4 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading at the Greenwich Literary Instituition. Reads from Doctor Marigold and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 7 (Monday). Dickens gives a speech to members of the Metropolitan Rowing Clubs during a dinner held at the London Tavern.

May, 9 (Wednesday). Dickens gives a reading in the Victoria Rooms, Clifton. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Nicholas Nickleby.

May, 10 (Thursday). Dickens gives a reading in the Town Hall, Birmingham. Reads from Doctor Marigold, Nicholas Nickleby and trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 11 (Friday). Dickens gives a reading in the Victoria Rooms, Clifton. Reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 14 (Monday). Gives a reading at St. James’s Hall, London. Reads from Doctor Marigold and Bob Sawyer’s party from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 15 (Tuesday). Dickens and tour manager George Dolby take an 18-hour journey from London to Aberdeen.

May, 16 (Wednesday). Dickens gives reading in the Music Hall, Aberdeen. At 8pm, he reads from David Copperfield and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 17 (Thursday). Dickens and Dolby travel from Aberdeen to Glasgow, stopping off at Perth where they undertake a walk along the banks of the River Spey. They dine in the coffee room of the George Hotel in Perth.

May, 18 (Friday). Dickens gives reading in the City Hall, Glasgow. At 8pm, he reads from Doctor Marigold and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 19 (Saturday). Dickens gives reading in the Music Hall, George Street, Edinburgh. At 2pm, he reads from Doctor Marigold and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

May, 22 (Tuesday). Gives a reading at St. James’s Hall, London.

December, 12 (Wednesday). A series of explosions at Oaks Colliery near Barnsley, Yorkshire kills at least 360 miners and rescuers. It remains one of the worst mining accidents in the United Kingdom.

December, 13 (Thursday). An explosion at the Talk-o’-Th’-Hill Colliery, near Newcastle-under-Lyne, Staffordshire, kills 91 miners.

December (26). Gads Hills. Dickens holds a sports day for local people from the Chatham area at Gads Hill and meadow behind the property. Games held including three-legged races, sack races, hurdles etc. for prizes. Two tents are put up


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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