A Charles Dickens Journal

The Early Manhood Years - 1830 to 1834


Mo Dt Dy
EVENT
 

1830
02 07 At this earliest possible date, CD applies for a reader's ticket at the British Museum.  
Begins to study the Gurney system of shorthand, and is tutored by his uncle.  
?? CD joins a circulating library where books could be borrowed for a small price.  
05 CD falls in love with Maria Beadnell.  
CD takes an office at 5 Bell Yard and shares the expense with a proctor, so that he will have a place to transcribe his reports.  

1831
CD is admitted to the gallery of the House of Commons as a reporter.  
11 John Dickens declares himself an insolvent debtor for the second time.  

1832
CD joins the staff of The Morning Herald.  
02 07 CD's parents hold a birthday party for him.  
03 Becomes a Parliamentary reporter for the True Sun, while continuing to work for the Mirror of Parliament.  
03 Writes to George Bartley, manager of the Covent Garden Theatre, requesting an audition.  
04 On the day that he was to audition, he was ill and could not appear.  
He takes up lodgings in Cecil Street, in order to be near his work.  
During this time, CD would attend the theatre in the evenings whenever he was not working, He would spend Saturday evenings with his friends, among them Thomas Beard (who remained his lifelong friend) and Henry Kolle (who also acquainted with the Beadnells). On Sundays he would go horseback riding with Kolle.  
He moves back in with his parents at 13 Fitzroy Street.  
07 CD resigns from the True Sun, which was not doing well financially.  
12 CD has assumed some of the management duties of the "Mirror of Parliament.  
12 Finds work as a polling clerk for Parliament member Charles Tennyson.  

1833
02 11 CD's parents hold a belated birthday party for him. Maria Beadnell insults him by calling him a "a boy".  
04 23 Performance of three amateur plays, for which Charles was the stage manager and played the starring roles.  
05 The end of his relationship with Maria Beadnell.  
07 23 CD attends a dinner that was arranged by his uncle John Henry Barrow, for the purpose of having him meet John Payne Collier, a subeditor of the Morning Chronicle. Collier was impressed by the young Dickens, and did write a letter of recommendation, but no job offer resulted.  
08? CD begins his first published writing, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, later retitled Mr Minns and His Cousin, when it was published as part of the Sketches by Boz.  
12 CD's first published writing, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, appears in Old Monthly Magazine, unsigned and unpaid.  
A week after it's publication, his first writing was pirated in the London Weekly Magazine.  

1834

01 Contributions to the Monthly Magazine continue regularly. "Mrs. Joseph Porter Over the Way" is published this month.  
02 "Horatio Sparkins" is published.  
04 "The Bloomsbury Christening" is published.  
05 "The Boardinghouse" is published.  
06 "Original Papers", a short story is published anonymously in Bell's Weekly Magazine.  
08 "The Boardinghouse-No. II" in Monthly Magazine is the first publication under the pseudonym "Boz".  
08 Becomes a Parliamentary reporter for the Morning Chronicle at five guineas a week..  
09 CD is sent to Edinburgh to report on a political banquet given for Earl Grey. It was his first travel outside of southeastern England.  
John Black, the editor of the Morning Chronicle, encourages CD to do less general reporting and more original writing.  
09 26 The Morning Chronicle publishes the first of a series of five "Street Sketches."  
Made the acquaintance of George Hogarth, who was about to become the editor of the Evening Chronicle. Hogarth "begged" him to write sketches for his new venture, and so for an extra two guineas a week, CD began to write what came to be known as "Sketches of London".  
? William Harrison Ainsworth visits the Chronicle office and makes the acquaintance of CD, and later introduces him to his publisher, John Macrone.  
10 CD is sent to review a new farce, which turns out to have been plagiarised from his own "Bloomsbury Christening."  
CD's income is now £275 a year.  
11 John Dickens's financial affairs are overextended again and Charles steps in to avert his father's arrest by applying all his available cash to the debts, borrowing from his friends, mortgaging his own salary and arranging for cheaper lodgings for his mother and sisters at 21 George Street, Adelphi.  
12 Takes a lease on chambers at Furnival's Inn with his younger brother Frederick, at a rent of £35 per year, paid in advance.  
CD receives a visit from John Macrone, who brought American journalist Nathaniel Parker Willis. Despite his increased income, his father's debts result in CD making an impression of being poor.  


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