Charles Dickens and Birmingham.


1848. Support for Shakespeare’s house at Stratford.


Birmingham Town Hall.1853. Support for the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

In 1853, Charles Dickens was invited to Birmingham by the Committee of the Birmingham and Midland Institute to help aid the establishment of a popular educational institution in the town.

The Victorian novelist read from A Christmas Carol on December 27 and again on December 30, and from The Cricket on The Hearth on December 29. About 2,000 people attended each performance.

Dickens asked for one of the readings to be given to an audience composed of the working classes, so the second reading of A Christmas Carol was set aside for that purpose.

The institute – a scientific and technical education centre for adults – opened next to the Town Hall, in Paradise Street, several years later. The building was demolished in 1965 and moved to Margaret Street.



Birmingham Town Hall.

Charles Dickens gave his first public reading of A Christmas Carol here to raise funds for the BMI.

Original Home of BMI.

The original BMI buildings were next to the Town Hall in Paradise Street from 1860 - 1965.

Present Location of BMI.

Present location of the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

Theatre Royal.

Charles Dickens performed at the Birmingham Theatre Royal in June 1848.



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