NewsVault Special Collection: Charles Dickens

On 7th February 1812, Charles Dickens was born. To honour one of the most popular authors of the Victorian period, we've chosen a handful of articles from a range of our archives and made them freely available.

Charles Dickens's Letters
An article reviewing the posthumous publication of his personal letters from The Illustrated London News Historical Archive.
Illustrated London News, Saturday, December 06, 1879; pg. 538; Issue 2112.

"These letters, now printed for general information, come long after his completed biography...The personal and domestic life of the great imaginative artist and humorist, with all his amiable and estimable qualities, has, we confess, not afforded a study that yields unmixed and unlimited satisfaction..."  Read more.

Glory and Shame of England
An article written by an American journalist on meeting Dickens for the first time from 19th Century US Newspapers.
The North American and Daily Advertiser, Thursday, November 11, 1841; Issue 818.

"There is something about his eyes at such times which cannot be copied...His figure is very graceful...The face is handsome. His complexion is delicate...His forehead, a phrenologist would say (especially if he knew his character beforehand), indicates a clear and beautiful intellect..." Read more.

A Narrow Escape from Death
A brief article highlighting how Dickens was fortunate to survive a train accident from 19th Century US Newspapers.
Daily National Intelligencer, Monday, July 10, 1865; Issue 16,502.

"The carriage in which he was sitting toppled over the edge of the embankment..." Read more.

Mr Charles Dickens's New Work
A review article of The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year in from 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
The Morning Post, Monday, December 23, 1844; pg. 5; Issue 23070.

"In 'The Chimes' he has out-Dickensed Dickens, and has continued to exceed even the inconsistency of a dream without the slightest perceptible object being answered..." Read more.

Separation of Charles Dickens and His Wife
A speculative article looking at the reasons behind the split from 19th Century US Newspapers.
The Charleston Mercury, Wednesday, June 23, 1858; Issue 10,268.

"The Herald's London correspondent intimates that the cause of this termination of a happy married life of twenty two years is not incompatibility of temper...but Mr Dickens' imtimacy with Miss Ternan..." Read more.

Metropolitan Gossip
An article expressing the shock about the death of Dickens from 19th Century British Library Newspapers Part II.
The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, Saturday, June 11, 1870; pg. 6; Issue 5285.

"These personal reminisces of the great novelist will pass into tradition, and thousands yet unborn will pay a pilgrimage of affection to the lone house on Gad's Hill where Charles Dickens lived and died..." Read more.

The Death of Charles Dickens
An article flagging Dickens had passed away from 19th Century US Newspapers.
Daily Evening Bulletin ,Friday, June 10, 1870; Issue 55.

"The great novelist has written his last story for the delight of mankind...Probably no other writer is as dear to the hearts of readers of English..." Read more.

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