A Charles Dickens Journal - 1870

A Journal of the Life of Charles Dickens


01 Sa Spends New Year's day at Gad's Hill, suffering from another attack of "the foot trouble."  
Takes up residence at 5 Hyde Park place, London. He has rented this house until the first of June to cut out the railway travelling between Gad's Hill and London.  
11 Begins a series of twice a week readings at St. James Hall. Read David Copperfield and The Trial from Pickwick.  
23 Su Complains in a letter to W. H. Wills of having "something the matter with my right thumb, and can't...write plainly."  
08 Tu Readings at 8:00 PM. "The Story of Little Dombey" and "Bob Sawyer's Party"  
15 Tu Readings at 8:00 pm. "Boots at the Holly Tree Inn"; "Sikes and Nancy" and "Mrs. Gamp"  
22 Tu Readings at 8:00 pm. "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Mr. Chops, the Dwarf"  
01 Tu Readings at 8:00 pm. "David Copperfield" and "The Trial from Pickwick"  
02 We Letter to W. C. Macready -"I have been getting on well with my book, and we are having immense audiences at St. James Hall."  
03 Th Attended a birthday party for Ellen Ternan at Blanchard's in Regent St.  
08 Tu Readings at 8:00 pm. "Boots at the Holly Tree Inn"; "Sikes and Nancy" and "Mr. Bob Sawyer's Party"  
09 We Had a personal interview with the Queen, at her request.  
15 Tu Final Farewell Reading - "Christmas Carol", "Pickwick Trial" - St. James Hall, London, 8:00PM  
05 Gave a speech at the Newsvendors Benevolent Institution.  
06 Attended a Levee at Buckingham Palace.  
02 Mo Attended the Royal Academy Dinner and gave a short speech. These were his last public words.  
03 Tu Returns to Gad's Hill.  
07 Sa Read the fifth number of The Mystery of Edwin Drood to Forster.  
10 Tu Neuralgia in his foot returns requiring hot poultices and laudanum to sleep.  
11 We Back in London, writes to Mrs. E. M. Ward - "...incapable of dining with you tomorrow...(due to)..a neuralgic affection of the foot."  
22 Su Learned of the sudden death of friend Mark Lemon. That evening he dined with friends, the Lehmanns and Forster. It was the last time Forster saw him alive.  
01 We Wrote a few lines for an amateur play that he had been rehearsing in May.  
02 Th Wrote the last codicil to his will, leaving All the Year Round to his son Charley.
Had his usual Thursday lunch with George Dolby.
In the evening, served as stage manager for the play, then spent the night at his office.
03 Fr Spent the day at the office, working on "Edwin Drood." Was so engrossed, that his son Charley could not get him to recognize him. It was the last time Charley saw him alive.
He returned to Gad's Hill Place that night.
05 Su Daughter Kate came to visit, but he became very tired after a short afternoon walk. The two of them talked until 3 AM Mon.  
06 Mo Arose at 7:30, went to the chalet to work on "Drood". Kate visited him there before she left for London. In the afternoon he walked to Rochester.  
08 We Spends a full day writing Edwin Drood and then suffers a stroke at dinner.  
09 Th Died - 6:10pm - Gad's Hill  
10 Fr Pencil sketch made by John Everett Millais.  
14 Tu Private funeral service in Westminster Abbey.  
17 Fr His coffin is sealed after 3 days procession of mourners.  

Last installment of The Mystery of Edwin Drood is published.  

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