A Charles Dickens Journal
1838

DtDy
JANUARY
 
01 Mo Dickens begins to keep a diary, in which he notes "Increased reputation and means--good health and prospects." He also notes again, his sadness over Mary Hogarth's death.  
02 Tu Spends the day with Ainsworth. They discuss business at Macrone's office, visit the scene of a fire from two days earlier, climb to the top of St. Saviour's Church, have dinner and then meet Browning at Covent Garden.  
03 We On the 3rd, 4th and 5th he works at editing the Grimaldi Memoirs, and after three days has them all fininshed except for the introduction and conclusion.  
06 Sa He finally gives up the lease on his old rooms at Furnival's Inn.  
At an evening party to celebrate son Charley's first birthday, guests include Forster, Mitton and Beard.  
Recalls Mary's presence on that day. He is still mourning her loss.  
08 Mo Begins writing Sketches of Young Gentlemen, for which he was paid £125.  
09 Tu Takes insurance on his life.  
10 We Works all day and attends a party in the evening at Mr. Levien's.  
13 Sa H. K. Browne is a guest at dinner.  
14 Su Attends a demonstration of "animal magnetism"; later dines at Talfourd's.  
15 Mo He discontinues his diary. "Here ends this brief attempt at a diary. I grow sad over this checking off of days, and can't do it.  
CD plans to collaborate on a book with Ainsworth, to be called "The Lions of London", but he complains to Ainsworth of the demands on his schedule. "My months work has been dreadful,--Grimaldi, the anonymous book for Chapman and Hall, Oliver, and the Miscellany." With Nicholas Nickleby about to get started, he was far too busy to take on a new project and the book with Ainsworth was abandoned.  
30 Tu CD and Browne leave London by coach to visit Yorkshire Schools  
FEBRUARY
01 Th CD writes a letter to his wife and states "the same dreams which have constantly visited me since poor Mary died follow me everywhere ... I have dreamt of her since I left home..."  
02 Fr CD and Browne visit William Shaw, principal of Bowes Academy.  
07 We CD writes to Forster to tell him that he has begun Nicholas Nickleby.  
10 Sa Sketches of Young Gentlemen is published anonymously.  
26 Mo Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi is published. CD is paid a flat fee of £100 for his work as the editor  
MARCH
06 Tu Birth of Mary Dickens, his second child.  
He is so excited over the birth that he declares to Forster "I can do nothing this morning" and he and Forster go horseback riding to help him relieve some of his excitement.  
12 Mo Goes to the theatre. Macready is playing in Coriolanus.  
13 Tu CD asks Macready to put his name on the stage-door list at Covent Garden Theatre.  
27 Tu CD attends a theatrical version of Oliver Twist, but is so embarassed by the portrayal that he lays down on the floor of his box in the middle of the first act until the end of the play. The production "closed after two or three nights."  
29 Th Goes to the Star and Garter in Richmond with Catherine.  
31 Sa The first number of Nicholas Nickleby appears  
APRIL
01 Mo Forster joins CD and his wife in Richmond.  
CD learns that Nicholas Nickleby on its first day has sold almost 50,000 copies.  
02 Tu The Dickens celebrate their wedding anniversary and Forster's Birthday.  
07 Su Goes to see Macready in The Two Foscari  
17 We Dines with Forster and Browne at Greenwich.  
19 Fr Dines with Minton.  
29 Mo Gives a dinner party with Ainsworth, Forster, Macready and Procter as guests.  
MAY
08 Tu Dines with Forster and Macready.  
12 Sa Speaks at a dinner of the Artist's Benevolent Fund.  
29 Tu Dines with Forster and Macready  
JUNE
During the months of June and July, he rents 4 Ailsa Park Villa, St Margaret's Road, Twickenham as a holiday home.  
21 Th Elected to the Athenaeum Club.  
24 Tu CD and Catherine celebrate the Macready's wedding anniversary with dinner at Elstree.  
28 Th Attends the Coronation of Queen Victoria.  
JULY
01 Su Publishes an article, The Coronation, in The Examiner.  
07 Sa Finishes the month's number of Oliver Twist at 11:30 p.m.  
10 Tu Begins the fifth number of Nicholas Nickleby.  
15 Su Writes a letter to Talfourd explaining it is indispensably necessary that Oliver Twist should be published in three volumes, in September next. I ... shall be sadly harassed to get it finished in time, ... as I have several scenes (important to the story ...) yet to write.  
AUGUST
10 Fr Signs an agreement with Henry Colburn to edit The Pic Nic Papers.  
SEPTEMBER
02 Su Publishes an article, Scott and his Publishers, in The Examiner.  
CD had to ask Bentley if he might miss a month's installment of Oliver Twist.  
Goes to the Isle of Wight for about nine days.  
22 Sa Signs an agreement with Bentley concerning the Miscellany and the publication of Barnaby Rudge.  
OCTOBER
02 Tu He reads a long article in the Edinburgh Review that surveys his whole career. Writes to Forster that "it is all even I could wish." He also reported: "Nancy is no more" as he has written her murder in Oliver Twist.  
In the second week of October he reached the death of Sikes. He tells Forster that work must come before riding. Forster recalled that he never knew him to work so frequently after dinner or to such late hours as during the final months of Oliver Twist.  
13 Sa With Forster to see Macready in The Tempest.  
16 Tu Witnesses an incident of cruelty to a horse by an omnibus proprietor.  
19 Fr Gives evidence at the Bow Street Magistrates' Court regarding the animal cruelty witnessed on the 16th.  
20 Sa CD sends "the last portion of this marvellous tale" (Oliver Twist) to George Cruikshank for illustration.  
26 Fr Writes a poem, "To Ariel" in Priscilla Horton's album.  
29 Mo Leaves with Browne for the Midlands and Wales. Spend the first night at Copps' Hotel in Leamington.  
30 Tu Visits Kenilworth and Warwick Castles and spends the night at Stratford.  
31 We Travel through Birmingham and Wolverhampton to the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury. In the evening they attended the Shrewsbury Theatre to see "A Roland for an Oliver.  
NOVEMBER
01 Th In the morning he writes to Catherine, and complains "My side has been very bad since I left home," but after a dose of henbane the night before feels "a great deal better this morning."  
Travels to the Hand Hotel at Llangollen  
02 Fr At Capel Curig.  
04 Su At Chester.  
05 Mo In Liverpool they meet Forster, and go to Birkenhead.  
06 Tu Dines in Manchester with William and Daniel Grant, merchants and manufacturers, who were to become the models for the Cheeryble brothers in "Nicholas Nickelby".  
07 We At Cheadle.  
08 Th Returns to London by train.  
09 Fr Oliver Twist is published in three volumes.  
18 Su Returns with Forster from a visit to Liverpool and Manchester. With "Oliver Twist" already in the bookstalls, he was so displeased with Cruikshank's illustrations that, through Forster, he asked Bentley to delete two of them from the next printing, and asked Cruikshank to redo one of them "at once".  
Oliver Twist was the first of Dickens books to be published under his own name.
From then on, in public comment, his name and Boz were used interchangeably.
 
21 We Attends the Adelphi Theatre with Forster to see a dramatisation of Nicholas Nickleby.  
25 Su Visits the home of Dr. Elliotson with Cruikshank to see a demonstration of mesmerism.  
28 We Resigns from the Garrick Club. Dines with Dr. Elliotson.  
DECEMBER
05 We Read his unproduced farce, "The Lamplighter, to Macready, who writes in his diary: "He reads as well as an experienced actor would--he is a surprising man.."  
10 Mo Goes to Greenwich with Browne and visits Macready in the evening.  
12 We Responds by letter to the advice given by a young reader of Nicholas Nickleby.  
Takes the chair at a dinner of the Literary Fund; then goes to Covent Garden Theatre and meets Cattermole.  
13 Th First meeting of 'The Trio Club' with CD, Ainsworth and Forster at Forster's Chambers.  
27 Th Visits Forster  
28 Fr Dines at Dr. Elliotson's  
29 Sa Dines at Ainsworth's.  
30 Su Dines at Talfourd's.  
31 Mo Visited by Forster and Ainsworth.  


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