OVERVIEW
"...how this Journal came to be and why it continues..."

In 1995 I set up a website to promote my one man show, Charles Dickens LIVE!. As the site began to be noticed, a growing number of people sent email seeking more information on Dickens' life. Because my research had taken me through at least 8,000 pages of biographical material, I decided to put all that reading to use by compiling a journal of his life, and then making it available on this website. Now that I have retired my show, (due to its seasonal nature [most people in the US only think of Dickens in December] and competition from foreign imports,) this website can now be devoted entirely to the journal.

Many of the biographies I've read, of course seem largely chronological. But they will make occasional small leaps backward and forward in time in an attempt to show the relational cause and effect of one event on another. Rather than attempt to write another biography, since there are already an abundance of them, I felt it may provide a better service, particularly to Dickens scholars, to provide a day by day presentation that is purely chronological, and without editorial comment.

A summary of the major events in Dickens' life was a part of the first installment. Work progresses on a more detailed journal, and is being presented a year at a time. The index that provides access to these journals is updated as each new addition is made, as well as an entry to the Updates page.

At the inception of this project I anticipated it would take a year to complete, and would have a "final" unveiling in January, 2000. Obviously that date has come and gone, and the balance appears to be an uphill climb, as the remaining years hold an abundance of data to be compiled. But the journal has garnered many new acquaintances, so it has been well worth the effort.

As always, updates will continue to be provided for the benefit of frequent visitors, so that it will be easy to tell what is new since your last visit.

If anyone has any comments about how you are making use of the journal, please email me.


SAMPLE TABLE
YrMoDtDy
Event
120207FrBorn in Portsmouth, District of Landsport, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Mac.DL.6
42 01 02 Left home for a trip to America, accompanied by his wife. JOH.CD.361
65 06 09 He and Ellen Ternan are involved in a railway accident at Staplehurst. FTZ.GL. 89 - 90
70 03 15 Tu Final Farewell Reading - Christmas Carol, Pickwick Trial - St. James Hall, London FTZ.GL.177
70 06 09 Th Died - 6:10pm - Gad's Hill ACK.D.1079

A word about bibliographic references.....
In the tables presented in this journal, the far right column is reserved for hidden bibliographic references. They are hidden from those who do not wish to be distracted by them, but are readily available for those who wish to have them. If you are searching for a source, you need only to move your mouse pointer to the Reference Source icon in the right hand column of the table entry and the AUTHOR.TITLE code and the page number will be displayed for a few seconds. If you need more detail than you can recall from the AUTHOR.TITLE code, just click your mouse to reach the Bibliographic Reference display. Using your browser's [BACK] button will return you to the same point you just left. Try it on the table shown above!


A word about errors and discrepancies.....
Much the same way that I have taken great pains to be as accurate as I can be with my stage presentations, I've spent a great deal of time in an effort to be as accurate as possible with the details presented in The Journal. But some of the many sources that I have used sometimes don't even agree with each other, and I have had to make choices, or do some extrapolation to put forth the entry that seems most plausible. So please don't contact me to quibble over trivia. However, if you find something that you believe is incorrect, and can provide at least two corroborating sources that can prove the entry to be in error, by all means, contact me and I will gladly consider making a correction.


A word about pictures in the journal.....
Links in the text of the journals allow you to view pictures of scenes or people as Dickens would have known them. Click the link to view the picture.
Clicking on a portrait icon () will take you to a portrait of Dickens as he would have looked at the time presented by that portion of the text. Click the icon to view the portrait. Then just click your browser's [BACK] button to return to the text.

Permission to use the pictures in this journal has been granted to me by the original owners.
I cannot extend that permission to others.
Please don't ask me to.


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