- Born Charles John Huffham Dickens at Portsmouth, second child
and eldest son of John, a naval clerk, and Elizabeth Dickens.
- Family moves briefly to Sheerness and then to Chatham, both in Kent.
- Family moves to Camden Town in North London.
- Father imprisoned for three months for debt in the Marshalsea
prison. Employed in a blacking warehouse. Enters Wellington House Academy.
- Enters solicitor's office as clerk.
- Studies shorthand and becomes a parliamentary and news reporter.
Falls in love with Maria Beadell.
- Stories appear in the _Monthly Magazine_.
- Becomes reporter on the _Morning Chronicle_.
- 'Sketches of London' appear in the _Evening Chronicle_.
- _Sketches by Boz_ published in volume form in two series.
Marries Catherine Hogarth, daughter of editor of the _Evening Chronicle_.
Lives at Furnival's Inn, London. Meets John Forster.
- Becomes editor of _Bentley's Miscellany_ for two years.
_Pickwick Papers_ appears in volume form, following publication in monthly
parts. Son born, first of ten children by Catherine Hogarth. Family moves to
Doughty Street, London. Death of wife's sister, Mary Hogarth.
- _Oliver Twist_ appears in volume form following monthly
serialization in _Bentley's Miscellany_. Visits schools in Yorkshire in
preparing to write _Nicholas Nickleby_.
- _Nicholas Nickleby_ appears in volume form following publication
in monthly parts. Family moves to Devonshire Terrace, London.
- _Master Humphrey's Clock_, written entirely by Dickens, initially as
a miscellany, appears weekly for around eighteen months.
- _The Old Curiosity Shop_ and later _Barnaby Rudge_ appear in
volume form following serialization in _Master Humphrey's Clock_.
- Travels with his wife in USA and Canada for six months.
_American Notes_ published in volume form.
- _A Christmas Carol_ appears as Christmas book.
- _Martin Chuzzlewit_ appears in volume form following publication
in monthly parts. Family move to Italy for around a year. _The Chimes_
appears as Christmas book.
- _The Cricket on the Hearth_ appears as Christmas book.
- Acts as founding editor of the _Daily News_ for a brief
period. _Pictures from Italy_ appears in volume form following publication
as a series of 'Travelling Letters' in the _Daily News_. Family moves to
Lausanne, Switzerland and then Paris for a total period of over six months.
_The Battle of Life_ appears as Christmas book.
- Begins to assist Miss Burdett Coutts in the running of a home
for reformed prostitutes (until 1858).
- _Dombey and Son_ appears in volume form following publication
in monthly parts. Begins to organize and act in private and charitable
theatrical performances. _The Haunted Man_ appears as Christmas book.
- Begins running _Household Words_ as weekly journal, owned jointly
with Bradbury & Evans. _David Copperfield_ appears in volume form following
publication in monthly parts.
- Father dies. Family moves to Tavistock House, Tavistock Square,
London. Meets Wilkie Collins. _A Child's History of England_ begins
appearing in weekly parts in _Household Words_, continuing for three years.
- Last child born to Catherine Hogarth.
- _Bleak House_ appears in volume form following publication in
monthly parts. First public readings from his own works.
- Visits Preston, Lancashire to observe strike by textile workers,
in preparation for writing _Hard Times_. _Hard Times_ appears in volume form
following weekly serialization in _Household Words_.
- Moves to France with family for almost a year.
- Buys Gad's Hill Place, near Rochester, Kent.
- _Little Dorrit_ appears in volume form following publication in
monthly parts. Organizes and stars in charitable performances of _The Frozen
Deep_, a melodrama by Wilkie Collins; falls in love with Ellen Ternan, a
young actress in the company. _The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices_ (in
parts) and _The Perils of Certain English Prisoners_ (Christmas number),
written in collaboration with Wilkie Collins, appear in _Household Words_.
- _Reprinted Pieces_ (articles from _Household Words_) published
in volume form. Begins series of public readings for profit. Separates from
his wife; issues personal statement defending his behavior in _Household
- Breaks off all links with Bradbury & Evans, buying out its share
in _Household Words_, which was then replaced by _All the Year Round_, a
similar weekly family journal. _A Tale of Two Cities_ appears in volume form
following publication as a weekly serial in _All the Year Round_ and in
- Sells Tavistock House and lives permanently at Gad's Hill Place.
- _The Uncommercial Traveller_, series of papers reprinted from _All
the Year Round_, published in volume form. _Great Expectations_ appears in
volume form following weekly serialization in _All the Year Round_. Begins
second series of public readings (until 1863).
- Son Walter dies in India. Mother dies. 'Mrs Lirriper's
Lodgings' appears in Christmas number of _All the Year Round_.
- 'Mrs Lirriper's Legacy' appears in Christmas number of _All the
- _Our Mutual Friend_ appears in volume form following publication
in monthly parts. Suffers serious train crash while traveling with Ellen
Ternan. 'Dr Marigold's Prescriptions' appears in Christmas number of _All
the Year Round_.
- Begins third series of public readings (until 1867).
- Begins six-month public reading tour of USA. _No Thoroughfare_,
in collaboration with Wilkie Collins, published in Christmas issue of _All
the Year Round_.
- Begins fourth series of public readings (until 1869), leading
to physical breakdown. Second expanded edition of _The Uncommercial
- Farewell season of public readings in London. First half of
_The Mystery of Edwin Drood_ issued in monthly parts and left incomplete.
Collapses and dies at Gad's Hill Place. Buried in Westminster Abbey.