The following is a detailed timeline we are compiling of the movements of the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens during the year 1870, as we come across them in letters, newspaper articles and other research. We have also included some key contemporary events that occurred in society.

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.



  • January – June. Dickens rents 5 Hyde Park Place from Thomas Milner Gibson as a London base.
  • January (11) – March (15). Between these dates, Dickens gives a series of twelve readings at St. James’s Hall in Piccadilly, London. They are to be his last series of public readings.
  • February (12). Death of George Hogarth, Dickens’s former Father-in-Law.
  • March (9). Dickens has an audience with Queen Victoria.
  • March (15). Dickens gives his last public reading, held at St. James’s Hall, London, with performances of A Christmas Carol and The Trial from Pickwick followed by a short speech.
  • April. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is published between April and September (but never finished).
  • June (7). Dickens walks with Georgina Hogarth around the lanes surrounding Gad’s Hill Place.
  • June (8). At around 6pm, Charles Dickens suffers a seizure at Gad’s Hill Place. His old friend and family doctor, Frank Beard, is sent for and arrives about midnight.
  • June (9). Charles Dickens passes away at Gad’s Hill Place at around 6pm, around twenty-four hours after the initial seizure.
  • June (14). Charles Dickens is buried in a service at Westminster Abbey.