Person    | Male  Born 7/2/1812  Died 9/6/1870

Charles Dickens

Born, son of Elizabeth and John Dickens, at No.1 Mile End Terrace, Landport, Portsmouth (where there is a museum). For a map showing many of his London addresses see Londonist. His family were so peripatetic that he had lived in at least 17 places by the time he was 22 and moved out.

Dickens wanted to be buried in Rochester Cathedral but instead we find him in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, with the inscription: 'He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world.' His will specified: 'I conjure to my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial or testimonial whatsoever.' Despite this stipulation there is a statue in Sydney and a life-size 1891 bronze by Francis Edwin Elwell in Philadelphia and, in 2014 (late for the 2012 celebrations) a statue by Martin Jennings was unveiled in Portsmouth. Digital Journal in 2011 has more to say about Dickens statues. And what would Dickens have said about all the plaques? But the Portsmouth statue-erectors argue that Dickens' ban on memorials was "just him talking about funeral arrangements" and they point out that he sat for several sculptors.

Lots to read by Dickens and about Dickens but we'd recommend one academic detective novel, about the research that led to the listing, and saving, of the Cleveland Street Workhouse, the one that almost certainly inspired Dickens to write 'Oliver Twist'. Dickens and the Workhouse by Ruth Richardson.

2016: Londonist keeps returning to Dickens and here is surely the last word in Dickens mapped.

2022: Londonist have found another spin: Did Charles Dickens Ever Ride On The London Underground?

2023: This image is Charles Dickens by Margaret Gillies, 1843, courtesy of the Charles Dickens Museum.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Charles Dickens

Commemorated ati

7 - Wine Office Court – Dickens

Mr Lirriper's Lodgings The Extra Christmas Number All the Year Round Charles ...

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Bradbury & Evans

Oh, dear, what is happening to the City plaques? This one looks really cheap...

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Charles Dickens - blacking factory

This was the site of the blacking factory where Dickens worked, aged 12 or 13...

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Charles Dickens - Cranleigh Street

In Dickens' time it was called Johnson Street. His house was number 29 though...

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Charles Dickens home - WC1

Getty has a photo of the unveiling, captioned "A plaque is unveiled at the Br...

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This section lists the memorials created by the subject on this page:
Charles Dickens

Creations i

Dog and Pot sculpture

Dickens was a boy of 12 when he passed this sign on his way to work in 1824. ...

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Marcus Grantham Fountain

{On a plaque fixed to the rim of the fountain:} In October 1976 this fountai...

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Marshalsea 1 - stone - round

Quoted from Chapter 3 of Little Dorrit.

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Marshalsea 4 - stone - spiral

Quoted from Charles Dickens' preface to Little Dorrit.

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Sculptured stone bench

Portland stone, 6 tonnes. CWO has more information about this bench.

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Dickens Fellowship

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A worldwide association of people who share an interest in the life and works of Charles Dickens, based at the Charles Dickens Museum since 1925.

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