A Charles Dickens Journal
1840

DtDy
JANUARY
 
01 We Gives a dinner party attended by Blanchard, Forster, Maclise and Frank Stone  
04 Sa Meets William Upcott  
08 We "Thinking of title for new work (Master Humphrey's Clock) this morning". Dines at Chapman and Hall's  
09 Th Corrects proofs of Sketches of Young Couples; "considering new work in all possible ways"  
10 Fr Writes, in a letter to Forster, "I am thinking awfully, but not writing, as I intend (Please God) to start tomorrow"  
13 Mo Writes to Cattermole that he wishes Master Humphrey's Clock to be illustrated with 'wood-cuts dropped into the text', and invites him to submit a sample. CD explains that he intends to invite Maclise to join him, but Maclise does not, and Hablot K. Browne becomes the second illustrator.  
14 Tu Serves as juryman at an inquest at Marylebone Workhouse on a case of a young mother who is suspected of infanticide.  
18 Sa CD writes to G. H. Adams to decline the invitation to contribute to Adams' new local magazine, because of 'the pressure of other engagements'.  
In the latter part of the month, CD finishes the first part of Master Humphrey's Clock.  
29 We A proof of Master Humphrey's Clock is sent to Macready for comment.  
FEBRUARY
07 Fr Twenty-eighth birthday.  
08 Sa Breakfast with Richard Monckton Milnes.  
?? Writes to T. J. Thompson that he is 'confined at home with the worst cold you can conceive'.  
10 Tu Sketches of Young Couples is published.
Queen Victoria's wedding day.
 
11 Tu CD (facetiously) tells Landor that he has "fallen hopelessly in love with the Queen  
13 Th He has completed three numbers of Master Humphrey's Clock and the first two chapters of Barnaby Rudge  
21 Fr Bentley advertises Barnaby Rudge as 'preparing for publication'.  
22 Sa From the 22nd to the 25th, various newspapers print a contradiction that 'Mr. Dickens is not at present engaged upon such work' as advertised by Bentley  
28 Fr Sends the third number of Master Humphrey's Clock to Chapman and Hall.  
29 Sa Travels with Forster to Bath, arriving in the evening and dining with Walter Savage Landor.  
MARCH
04 We Returns from Bath to London.  
09 Mo Writes to Cattermole to inform him of a change in the order of stories for Master Humphrey's Clock and praises him for the work he has already provided.  
09 Mo Writes to Forster to mention Old Curiosity Shop as a title for 'that little tale'.  
10 Tu Writes to S. A. Dietzman in Germany, to inform him that he has already made arrangements with his publishers and therefor is not able to send his new works out of the country.  
11 We Presides at a meeting of the Literary Fund Club.  
24 Tu Calls on Macready; they visit Maclise; then dine with Forster, and are joined by Blanchard, Jerdan, Proctor, and Stanfield.  
During this month 'some ailments which dated from an earlier period in his life made themselves felt'  
APRIL
03 Fr As is now his custom, CD leaves London on the eve of a new publication, and travels with Catherine to Birmingham where they are joined by CD's brother Alfred. Over the next few days they make excursions to Shakespeare's house in Stratford and Johnson's in Lichfield.  
04 Sa First number of Master Humphrey's Clock is published. It's sales are almost 70,000 copies.  
07 Tu Writes to William Hall that sales of Master Humphrey's Clock go "gloriously indeed".  
11 Sa Calls on Maclise and they go together to a soirée given by the Marquis of Northampton.  
14 Tu Writes to L.G. Clark, "I am very much engaged with [Master Humphrey's Clock]"  
15 We Declines Lady Blessington's invitation to contribute to one of her Annuals.  
26 Su Thomas Beard dines at CD's home.  
27 Mo First installment of Old Curiosity Shop appears in Master Humphrey's Clock.  
MAY
15 Fr Gives a dinner party for William Allan; Landseer and Stanfield are guests.  
16 Sa Second installment of Old Curiosity Shop published in Master Humphrey's Clock.  
22 Fr Attends a rehearsal of Talfourd's tragedy Glencoe  
23 Sa Third installment of Old Curiosity Shop published in Master Humphrey's Clock, (the end of Chapter 4).  
30 Sa First of 37 weekly installments of Old Curiosity Shop is published, continuing until Feb. 6, 1841  
JUNE
01 Mo The Dickens family travel to Broadstairs, 37 Albion Street. CD sets out his writing table and during the month he continues work on Old Curiosity Shop.  
02 Tu Writes to Maclise inviting him to join him in Broadstairs.  
10 We In London a seventeen-year-old makes an attempt on the lives of the Queen and Prince Albert. CD writes to Forster that 'It's a great pity they couldn't suffocate that boy...and say no more about it."  
16 Tu CD writes Mitton that he is 'up every morning at 7, and usually finish work for the day, before 2'.  
17 We Begins work on Chapter 15 of Old Curiosity Shop.  
29 Mo With Forster and Maclise, the three travel for two days to London, by way of Chatham, Rochester and Cobham.  
JULY
01 We Returns to London.  
02 Th Agrees that he will write Barnaby Rudge for Chapman and Hall and they will advance money (£2,250) for the purchase of the copyright and stock of Oliver Twist from Bentley.  
06 Mo Attends execution of the murderer Courvoisier with Maclise and Burnett.  
08 We Celebrates his contractual freedom from Bentley at a party at the house of his publisher, Hall, but drank bad wine.  
09 Th Had to stay in bed in the morning from drinking bad wine the night before.  
15 We Dines with Maclise; and then attends a reception at Miss Angela Burdett Coutts.  
22 We Dines with Maclise; they go to the theatre afterwards.  
23 Th Mitton dines with CD and Catherine and afterwards they go to the Haymarket Theatre to see Macready in Bulwer's Lady of Lyons.  
26 Su Complains to Landor that Old Curiosity Shop demands his 'constant attention'. In the evening he travels by train to Basingstoke, to visit his parents in Devon.  
27 Mo Arrives at Alphington: finds his parents well and comfortable.  
AUGUST
04 Tu Returns to London from Devon.  
08 Sa Dines at Dr. Elliotson's and meets Chauncey Hare Townshend, who shares CD's interest in mesmerism.  
Townshend was anxious to hypnotize Dickens; but Dickens refused.  
10 Mo Visits Townshend.  
16 Su Macready, Forster and Maclise dine at CD's home; CD and Forster quarrel and he asks Forster to leave the house, and Forster apologizes.  
17 Mo Writes to Macready: "...There is no man, alive or dead, who tries his friends as [Forster] does".  
19 We Writes to Forster that he went to Bevis Marks in the city "to look for a house for Sampson Brass" - as a basis for description in chapter 33 of Old Curiosity Shop.  
23 Su Macready, Maclise, Forster and others dine with CD.  
25 Tu Christening of Kate Dickens; Macready is named godfather. Afterwards, CD, Macready and Angus Fletcher visit Cold Bath Fields Prison.  
26 We [and 27th] CD is in Broadstairs to secure a holiday house.  
29 Sa "Life of 'Boz'", an inaccurate biographical notice of CD, appears in The Town.  
SEPTEMBER
During this month CD and his family are at Broadstairs where he continues working on Old Curiosity Shop.  
02 We Sends drafts of the dedication and preface of Old Curiosity Shop to Forster for comment.  
09 We Begins chapter 38 of Old Curiosity Shop. The decision that Nell must die seems to have been made by this time.  
About this time Dickens suffers an attack of facial rheumatism that tortured him desperately.  
OCTOBER
02 Fr Sends copy of chapters 44-45 of Old Curiosity Shop to Chapman and Hall.  
11 Su Returns to London from Broadstairs.  
13 Tu Attends Covent Garden theatre with Macready.  
14 We Writes to Thomas Hill that he will give a dinner to honor those connected with Master Humphrey's Clock.  
15 Th Publication of the first volume of Master Humphrey's Clock.  
17 Sa Dines with Macready, Maclise and Forster.  
20 Tu Gives a dinner celebrating the completion of Master Humphrey's Clock to 'designers, printers, publishers and woodcutters.  
NOVEMBER
02 Mo Works on chapter 53 of Old Curiosity Shop.  
03 Tu After an unrefreshing night -- "All night I have been pursued by the child" -- CD reads chapter 53 to Forster and Maclise at Jack Straw's castle, Hampstead.  
07 Sa Spends 'all day' at the Adelphi Theatre for rehearsals of Edward Stirling's dramatisation of Old Curiosity Shop. Writes to Mitton that he made 'a great many improvements'.  
09 Mo First performance of Stirling's dramatisation of Old Curiosity Shop at the Adelphi Theatre. CD does not attend.  
10 Tu Dines with Macready.  
12 Th Finishes the 35th number of Old Curiosity Shop (to the end of chapter 55). Writes to Forster 'The difficulty has been tremendous - the anguish unspeakable'.  
17 Mo Dines with Macready, who reads Bulwer Lytton's Comedy Money to his dinner guests.  
24 Tu Writes to Chapman and Hall: "I am inundated with imploring letters recommending poor little Nell to mercy".  
24 Tu Death of Macready's three year old daughter.  
DECEMBER
Macready notes in his journal 'Received a dear and most affectionate note from Dickens which comforted me as much as I can be comforted"  
02 We Speaks at a banquet given by the Southwark Literacy and Scientific Institution.  
08 Tu Attends the first performance of Money at the Haymarket Theatre.  
Fr Writes to Cattermole about another illustration, stating "we are mortally pressed for time, and I must go hard to work to make up for what I have lost by being dutiful and going to see my father".  
18 Fr CD writes to Ainsworth inviting him to a New Year's Eve party 'with forfeits and such like exercises'.  
21 Mo Writes to Cattermole describing a scene to be illustrated.  
22 Tu Tells Cattermole that "I am breaking my heart over this story (Old Curiosity Shop), and cannot bear to finish it'.  
25 Fr CD and Forster call on Macready, and they all take a walk in Hyde Park.  
31 Th Gives a New Year's Eve dinner for various friends.  


Home JOURNAL DIRECTORY
 


© Copyright 1998 to Present dickenslive.com
Permission is granted for downloading and duplication for your own personal use.
Any other use, for profit or otherwise, including distribution for educational purposes,
requires written permission from the author.