Charles Dickens and Brighton.

Charles Dickens and Brighton.2018-04-21T05:27:27+00:00

 

Reading Tours.

Charles Dickens visited Brighton on at least three occassions as part of national public speaking tours. He performed at Brighton Town Hall on a 1858 and 1861 visits, the Royal Pavilion as part of the 1861 tour and at the Grand Concert Hall on his last reading visit in 1868.

1858 visit.

The itinerary we have been able to compile during this visit to Brighton appears to be as follows:

  • November 12 (Friday). Gives reading of A Christmas Carol at the Town Hall, 8pm.
  • November 13 (Saturday). Gives two performances at the Town Hall. In the afternoon (3pm), Dickens reads the story of Little Paul from Dombey and Son. In the evening (8pm) he gives another public performance, with readings from The Poor Traveller, The Boots at the Hollytree Inn, and the Mrs. Gamp episode from Martin Chuzzlewit.

Local newspaper the Brighton Gazette posted a review of the visit in its edition on Thursday, 18 November 1858 remarking that “Mr Dickens is good reader, his voice is clear, and his personal appearance and manner pleasing”.

 

1861 visit.

The itinerary we have been able to compile during this tour appears to be as follows:

  • November 7 (Thursday). Gives the first of three readings in Brighton at the Town Hall at 8pm.
  • November 8 (Friday). Gives the second of three readings in Brighton at the Town Hall at 8pm.
  • November 9 (Saturday). Gives the third and final of reading at the Royal Pavillion at 3pm.

 

1868 visits.

The itinerary we have been able to compile during this tour appears to be as follows:

  • October 19 (Monday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in West Street, 8pm. Reads Doctor Marigold and also the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.
  • October 22 (Thursday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in West Street, 8pm. Reads from David Copperfield and Mrs. Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • November 2 (Monday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in West Street, 8pm. Reads from Nicholas Nickleby and also Bob Sawyer’s Party from The Pickwick Papers.
  • November 7 (Saturday). Gives final Brighton reading at the New Concert Hall in West Street, 3pm. Reads from A Christmas Carol and The Boots at the Hollytree Inn.

 

Inspiration.

Brighton appears in several of Dickens’s great works but particularly in Dombey and Son. In the story, the frail younger Paul Dombey is sent away to Brighton. He and his sister Florence lodge with a Mrs Pipchin, whose home ‘in a steep bye-street at Brighton’. The location is believed to be based on a house in Upper Rock Gardens. Dombey is also sent to be eduacted at Dr Blimber’s academy, which may have been inspired by one of the many private schools in the area.

Brighton also features in Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, Sketches by Boz and an ale by the name of the Brighton Tipper is referenced in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit.

 

 

Locations.

Filter by

Title Description
Bedford Hotel.

Charles Dickens frequently stayed at the Bedford Hotel when he visited Brighton. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1964 and replaced by a 17 storey modern hotel block.

Old Ship Hotel.

Dickens is known to have stayed at the Old Ship Hotel when he visited Brighton.

Royal Pavilion.

Dickens performed public readings here as part of a 1861 reading tour.

Town Hall.

Dickens performed public readings here as part of a 1861 reading tour.

Upper Rock Gardens.

In Dombey and Son, the frail younger Paul Dombey is sent away to lodge with Mrs Pipchin, whose home is believed to be based on a house in Upper Rock Gardens.

 

 

Advertisements

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar