A Charles Dickens Journal

1835 & 1836


Mo Dt Dy
EVENT
 

1835
01 06 Tu Reported on the elections at Ipswich.  
01 07 We Reported on the elections at Sudbury, at Suffolk.  
01 20 Tu CD writes to George Hogarth to inquire about receiving additional pay beyond his reporter's salary, for writing a series of "light papers in the style of my 'Street Sketches'."  
CD's salary was increased, to £382 a year. Not quite 23, he was already earning more than his father had ever received in the Navy Pay Office.  
Over the next seven months Hogarth printed 20 of CD's sketches in the Evening Chronicle.  
Hogarth invited CD to his home, and he became a friend of the family.  
In the next months, CD became a frequent visitor at the Hogarth home, and began giving shorthand lessons to Robert, the eldest son.  
05 01 Fr CD is in Exeter to take down a speech, in the pouring rain, so that the copy can be gotten back to London and printed in the Chronicle before it is printed in the Times. He becomes "deaf and rheumatic from exposure to the rain".  
05 Becomes engaged to 19 year old Catherine Hogarth, eldest daughter of the editor of "The Evening Chronicle".  
05 Takes lodgings in Selwood Terrace, a short walk from the Hogarth home, to be closer to Catherine. For these six months he paid rent here as well as at Furnival's Inn.  
08 CD is correcting the manuscript of "Two Journeys through Italy and Switzerland", written by Kate's uncle, William Thomson.  
08 20 Th The last of the 'Boz' sketches is published for the evening Chronicle.  
09 27 Su The first of a series of 12 new CD sketches appeared in Bell's Life of London under the general title of Scenes and Characters under the pseudonym Tibbs.  
10 Catherine becomes ill with scarlet fever. CD is "in great stress of mind" because of it.  
CD's acquaintance with William Harrison Ainsworth had become a friendship that had him attending dinners with Daniel Maclise, George Cruikshank and John Macrone.  
?? John Macrone, a young publisher, approached CD with the idea of reprinting his stories and sketches in volume form, offering £100 for the copywrite.  
11 07 Sa CD is called to Bristol to report on a political speech, and has to break off an engagement with Cruikshank for that evening to discuss the illustrating of the Sketches.  
Upon returning to London, he discusses the illustrations that are to appear in the two volumes of sketches with Cruikshank. Within two weeks he expresses impatience to Macrone about Cruikshank's slowness.  
12 Travels to Kettering to watch the by-election.  
12 John Hullah, a young composer who had been at the Academy of Music with Fanny, asked CD to supply the libretto to an opera he was planning. CD made so many suggestions that he convinced Hullah to transform the opera.  

1836
01 17 Su The last of the 12 Scenes and Characters appears in Bell's Life of London.  
01 Resumed writing sketches for the Morning Chronicle.  
01 CD begins work on Hullah's opera, both the libretto and the dialogue, but does not finish it until the end of July  
02 07 Su First publication of Sketches by Boz, with illustrations by George Cruikshank.  
02 10 We CD is visited at Furnival's Inn by William Hall, one of the partners in the publishing firm of Chapman and Hall. Hall offers the job of writing the copy that will accompany a series of Robert Seymour's illustrations, for a payment of £14 per month. CD accepted almost at once, and that evening wrote to Catherine.  
02 11 Th George Hogarth's "beautiful notice" of the "Sketches" is printed.  
02 CD manages to convince Chapman and Hall, with the grudging acquiessence of Seymour, that his writings should have the pre-eminent role with the illustrations following the texts.  
02 He moves from #13 Furnival's Inn to #15.  
02 18 Th CD begins to write "The Pickwick Papers". It was to be the longest piece that he had written to date (some 12,000 words) and the first installment was due in early March, with the second due before the end of that same month.  
02 19 Fr He finishes the first chapter of "Pickwick Papers".  
03 George Hogarth introduces CD to Richard Bentley, a publisher who will offer him a writing contract four months later.  
03 29 Tu Since Kate was still six weeks short of being of age, CD obtained the proper authorization for her to marry with her father's consent.  
03 31 Th The first installment of "Pickwick Papers" is published. It is 32 pages and 4 engravings by Seymour in a green wrapper and priced at one shilling. The print run of 1000 copies has modest sales.  
04 02 Sa Marries Catherine Hogarth at St. Luke's in Chelsea.  
They honeymoon for a week in a small cottage in Chalk.  
When they return from their honeymoon. Catherine's sister Mary Hogarth moves into Furnival's Inn with them.  
04 10 Su Back in London, CD wrote to Robert Seymour, praising the artist on his work.  
04 17 Su Seymour spent a short time at Furnival's Inn, probably discussing the changes that CD wanted him to make in his artwork.  
04 20 We Robert Seymour shot himself to death in the garden of his home in Islington.  
CD convinces Chapman and Hall that the number of monthly illustrations in "Pickwick Papers" should be reduced from four to two and that his text should be increased from 24 to 36 pages. Robert Buss is hired to do the illustrations but they are to no one's liking and he is promptly fired. He and CD never met.  
04 30 Sa The second number of "Pickwick Papers" appears, but the print run is reduced to 500.  
William Makepeace Thackeray and John Leech both apply for the position of next illustrator of the "Pickwick Papers", but Hablot Knight Browne is chosen, probably as Buss was being fired.  
05 CD agreed to write for John Macrone, a three volume novel, to be entitled "Gabriel Vardon, the Locksmith of London".  
06 01 We The third number of "Pickwick Papers" appears, and the run is restored to 1000.  
06 22 We As a reporter, CD covered the trial of Prime Minister Lord Melborne.  
06 23 Th Exhausted from his labors of the previous day, CD spent the day in bed.  
07 23 Sa With the revisions in his opera "The Village Coquettes" completed, a small party of friends assembled in Furnival's Inn to hear CD read the play and try the music. They were all enthusiastic in their praise.  
07 In the fourth number of "Pickwick Papers", the character of Sam Weller is introduced and sales begin to swell, and orders for back numbers start coming in. CD writes to Macrone: "PICKWICK TRIUMPHANT."  
The popularity of "Pickwick Papers" brings offers of more work. He is offered £100 to write a children's book to be called "Solomon Bell the Raree Showman", which he agreed to finish by Christmas. He had promised a three volume novel to Macrone (for £200, he had to keep up his installments of "Pickwick Papers" and his duties as reporter for the Morning Chronicle, and his farce and opera would be going into rehearsal soon.  
Richard Bentley, the New Burlington Street Publisher, proposed that Dickens write a novel for his new publication, but was disappointed to learn that CD was already contracted to Macrone.  
08 He secured, or believed he secured a release from his contract for the novel for Macrone. He cancelled his arrangement about the children's book.  
08 When CD told Bentley he was free to consider a contract, Bentley offered to buy the entire copywrite of two novels of unspecified title and subject matter, with no time limit for delivery, for £400 each.  
08 17 We CD wrote to Bentley asking that the amount should be £500 instead. Bentley accepted.  
08 22 Mo CD signed a contract with Bentley for both books.  
08 For the latter part of August and most of September, CD and Catherine relax in a cottage at Petersham.  
09 Upon returning to London, CD and Kate begin to invite guests to the premier of the farce, The Strange Gentleman.  
09 26 Th The Strange Gentleman, a comic burletta, in two acts first performed at the St. James's Theatre.  
10 The printers are set to work on the second edition of "Sketches by Boz," to be published in two volumes. CD agrred with Cruikshank on eighht illustrations for the first volume. When Cruikshank proposed making editorial changes in the text, CD wrote to Macrone suggesting that Browne should do the illustrations. The matter was smoothed over and author and artist continued on friendly terms.  
CD tells Macrone that time is too short to get the second volume out before Christmas. He found entire days consumed by preparations for the "The Village Coquettes", and he had a severe attack of facial rheumatism that confined him to bed making it impossible to write at all for a fortnight.  
11 04 Fr CD signs an agreement for one year with Richard Bentley. The terms are for CD to assume editorship of Bentley's Miscellany for £20/month, and another 20 guineas for contributing sixteen pages of his own writing, but the copyright belonged to Bentley. With the income from The Chronicle and Pickwick this would bring his income level to almost £800 a year.  
11 05 Sa Resigns from The Chronicle.  
11 Macrone realizes that CD has signed with Bentley, and would not be honoring their agreement for the "Gabriel Vardon" novel.  
11 Ainsworth attempts to intercede with Macrone on Dickens behalf, but the haggling would continue through the rest of the year.  
12 06 Tu His opera, "The Village Coquettes" opens at St. James Theatre, with "The Strange Gentleman" on the same bill, but closed after only 19 performances.  
12 25 Su Harrison Ainsworth introduces CD to the literary and drama critic of The Examiner, John Forster  


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