A Charles Dickens Journal
1841

DtDy
JANUARY
 
02 Sa CD writes to Rev. William Harness to decline an invitation, saying that "all next week I shall be laid up with a broken heart, for I must occupy myself with finishing the Curiousity Shop".  
06 We Dickens finishes the 38th number (ch. 69-70) of Old Curiosity Shop. He writes to Macready: "I am slowly murdering that poor (Nell) and growing wretched over it"  
13 We Finishes writing the chapters containing Nell's death. His face is swollen with a bad cold.  
14 Th Writes to Cattermole to thank him for altering a piece of Old Curiosity Shop artwork and to ask him to "do a little tail-piece" for it.  
17 Su Finishes Old Curiosity Shop at 4 a.m.  
21 Th Macready and CD visit Rogers. Macready asks CD 'to spare the life of Nell'.  
22 Fr CD meets Captain Marryat at a dinner at Stanfields.  
?? Catherine, pregnant again, is suffering from the same illness(es) that left her prostrate before, and CD remaining at her side gets no sleep for 48 hours.  
26 Tu Dines with Forster  
27 We Dines with Stanfield.  
28 Th Letter to Cattermole: discussion of artwork for Barnaby Rudge.  
In a letter to Forster, Jan 29) he wrote '...sat and thought all day; not writing a line;...imaged forth a good deal of Barnaby by keeping my mind steadily upon him.' Tells Mitton of the 'the extreme difficulty of fixing my thoughts on Barnaby after so recently shutting up the "Shop" ".  
29 Fr Began writing Barnaby Rudge  
29 Fr Dines with Harness and then attends evening party at Miss Coutts  
30 Sa Sends "the first four slips of No. 48" to Cattermole, and seeks his opinion regarding the apprearance of the raven in Barnaby Rudge.  
31 Su Dines with Rogers.  
FEBRUARY
02 Tu Dines at Miss Coutt's.  
03 We Dines with Dr. Southwood Smith.  
04 Th Dines with Ainsworth  
06 Sa Publication of the last number of Old Curiosity Shop. CD dines with Cattermole at the Athenaeum.  
08 Mo Birth of fourth child, Walter Landor Dickens  
09 Tu Letter to Cattermole with specifics for next illustration in Barnaby Rudge.  
On the census return for this year, CD lists himself as "Gentleman" with one wife, four children, four maid-servants and one man-servant.  
13 Sa First installment of Barnaby Rudge published in MHC; 41 further weekly installments to November 27.  
23 Tu Responds to a letter from an American admirer.  
24 We Goes to Brighton with Catherine (Old Ship Hotel).  
25 Th Writes to Forster as he works on ch. 10 of Barnaby Rudge that he "is blessed with a clear view of the end of the volume".  
26 Fr Sends Barnaby Rudge manuscript to Cattermole with more instructions for illustrations.  
MARCH
03 We CD and Catherine return to London.  
Upon returning, he discovered his pet raven, Grip, has died.  
08 Mo London newspapers carry a notice, inseted by CD's solicitors on his instructions, disclaiming resposibility for debts incurred by anyone bearing his surname - meaning his father. CD works on a preface for the new edition of Oliver Twist  
10 We In a letter to R. Monckton Milnes, CD states he is "getting a young brother off to New Zealand just now".  
22 Mo Dines with Macready.  
APRIL
03 Sa Goes with Macready to the Marquis of Northampton's; those present include Elliotson, Rogers, Stanfield and Henry Crabb Robinson.  
08 Th In a letter to an unknown addressee CD writes: "...I will pursue cruelty and oppression, the enemies of all God's creatures of all codes and creeds, so long as I have the energy of thought and the power of giving it utterance."  
10 Sa Gives a dinner to those involved in production of Master Humphrey's Clock to celebrate appearance of its second volume on April 12.  
26 Mo Visits Tothill Fields Prison with Francis Smedley, to see William Jones, an errand-boy convicted of entering Buckingham Palace.
Gives a dinner with guests including Fonblanque, Bulwer Lytton, Jeffrey and Rogers.
 
29 Th Tells Forster that progress with Barnaby Rudge is very slow.  
Letter to Ainsworth; accepts invitation to a house warming.  
MAY
04 Tu Jeffrey writes that he means to have "an eternal and intimate friendship" with CD. "He lives very near us here, and I often run over and sit an hour...or take a long walk in the park with him..." CD also meets Hood during this year.  
08 Sa Dines with Ainsworth and Forster.  
12 We Sees 'the Magnetic Boy', Alexis Didier, a young Belgian medium, at Townshend's house and later describes him as 'marvellous' (to Countess Blessington, June 2nd).
Speaks at the Literary Fund dinner.
 
31 Mo In a letter to G. Lovejoy, responding to a request to enter politics, CD states he "cannot afford te expense of a contested election".  
JUNE
02 We Letter to Countess Blessington; will go to Scotland on the 19th and relates his account of his encounter with the "magnetic boy".  
10 Th In another letter to G. Lovejoy, he again declines a second invitation to stand for Parliament.  
19 Sa CD and Catherine leave London to visit Scotland  
20 Su Spends the day with the Smithsons at Easthorpe Hall, near Malton, Yorkshire.  
22 Tu Arrived in Edinburgh and stayed at the Royal Hotel until July 4th.  
23 We CD visits 'the Parliament-house', writes to Forster and in the evening he and Catherine go to the Adelphi Theatre.  
24 Th Attends a dinner and evening party at Lord Murray's.  
25 Fr A dinner is held in CD's honour at the Waterloo Rooms.  
26 Sa In letters to Forster and Cattermole, CD writes that the dinner of the previous evening was a "most brilliant affair" with 250-270 guests present, and nearly 200 ladies who entered to hear the speeches.  
26 Sa Dines with Lord Rutherford, the Lord Advocate; spends the night at Lord Jeffrey's.  
27 Su Dines with Lord Jeffrey.  
28 Mo Dines ar Dr. William Alison's, a medical professor at Edinburgh University and campaigner for the relief of poverty.  
29 Tu CD is 'voted...the freedom of the city'. Dines at the home of William Allen, historical painter.  
30 We Breakfasts with Macvey Napier, editor of the Edinburgh Review; writes a letter to Forster; dines with Alexander and Robert Blackwood, publishers; attends an evening party given by William Drysdale, Treasurer of the Town Council; attends a 'supper with all the artists'.  
JULY
01 Th Attends a lunch given by Thomas Maitland, Solicitor-General; dines with Lord Gillies, judge; attends evening party given by Joseph Gordon, Writer to the Signet.  
02 Fr Attends a dinner and evening party given by Patrick Robertson, advocate and wit.  
03 Sa Dines at Lord Jeffrey's; attends Adelphi Theatre (orchestra plays 'Charley is My Darling' on his entrance). Newspaper reports have promised his appearance and the house is packed.  
04 Su CD and Catherine, with their London servant Tom and Angus Fletcher, advocate, leave Edinburgh for a tour of the Highlands, following a route suggested by Lord Murray. They proceed to Callander, via Stirling and spend the night at Stewart's Hotel, nine miles from Callander. In the evening CE walks to Loch Katrine.  
05 Mo They continue to Lochearnhead and remain for three nights 'to rest and work', CD continuing with Barnaby Rudge.  
08 Th They leave Lochearnhead in the evening and spend the night at Killin.  
09 Fr Writes to Forster that they are proceeding to Ballachulish, 'a journey of between 50 and 60 miles, through the bleakest and most desolate part of Scotland, via Glencoe ('perfectly terrible').  
10 Sa CD abandons his intention of going to Oban on account of bad weather, and returns via Glencoe to Tyndrum; they go via Dalmally to Inverary.  
11 Su Writes to Forster that Glencoe is 'perfectly horrific'.  
12 Mo CD declines an invitation to attend a dinner in his honor at Glasgow.  
14 We Spends two nights at Melrose and visits Dryburgh.  
17 Sa Spends the night at York. The first number of Punch is advertised in Master Humphrey's Clock.  
18 Su Arrives back in London.  
21 We Dines with Cattermole, Forster, Maclise and Macready.  
23 Fr Writes to Townshend that he is "horribly hard at work" - probably on Chs 49-50.  
26 Mo Writes to Forster that "I must stick to (my work), like wax, pitch, glue, cement"  
28 We Writes to Cattermole requesting an illustration for Barnaby Rudge.  
Dines with Townshend; Dr. Elliotson is also present and mesmerizes a patient.  
30 Fr Visits Belvedere; dines at Greenwich with Forster, Cattermole, Macready, Maclise and others.  
31 Sa The Dickens children go to Broadstairs.  
AUGUST
01 Su CD and Catherine join the children in Broadstairs; they remain until October 2, but CD makes frequent visits to London.  
05 Th Writes to Forster: "I am warming up very much about Barnaby" (working on chs 55-56)  
06 Fr Writes to Cattermole with specifics of another illustration for Barnaby Rudge.  
07 Sa Publishes a poem, "The Fine Old English Gentleman" in The Examiner  
08 Su Informed Macvey Napier, editor of the Edinburgh Review, that the article he had promised on the horrifying conditions of child labor in mines and factories would have to be delayed until its sensational revelations were reported to Parliament.  
11 We Writes to Forster that he is nearly finished with another number of Barnaby Rudge. Tells Mitton that apart from two days he has been 'constantly at work' since reaching Barnaby Rudgeoadstairs.  
13 Fr Writes to Cattermole to request him to do the frontispiece for the volume of Old Curiousity Shop to be published at the end of September.  
Writes to Forster: "By Jove how radical I am getting, ... I was stronger and stronger in the true principles every day."  
14 Sa His poem, "The Fine Old English Gentleman" is published in another newspaper.  
Criticisms of Barnaby Rudge from various sources, including Edgar Allan Poe and Forster, cause him to write: "I cannot bear these jerky confidences which are no sooner begun than ended"  
19 Th Letter to Cattermole with details for next illustration.  
20 Fr Goes to London to meet with Forster and his publishers.  
21 Sa Visits London, calls on Mitton and confesses that he is afraid that he might spoil his success by repetition., and has a meeting with Chapman and Hall in Forster's chambers in Lincoln's Inn. CD, with Forster as his spokesman requests that the publishers give him an allowance of £500 every quarter and a half copyright on his next work, to begin publication in March of 1842.  
His poem, "The Fine Old English Gentleman" is published in a third newspaper.  
24 Tu Letter to Cattermole with details for two illustrations and gives him a free hand to create the frontispiece for Barnaby Rudge.  
SEPTEMBER
07 Tu A new contract was signed with Chapman and Hall. Delighted over an even better bargain than before, CD writes to Mitton: "for a year I am a free man".  
11 Sa Chs 63-64 of Barnaby Rudge are finished.  
19 Su Tells Forster that he had made up his mind to go to America as early as January 4.  
21 Tu Letter to Cattermoles with details for illustration.  
Asks Macready's advice on taking the children to America. (Macready is against it and his advice is followed.)  
22 We Tells Forster that he has informed Chapman and Hall that he will 'keep a note-book' while in America and publish it on his return.  
26 Su CD tells his brother Frederick that all arrangements for the voyage have been made.  
28 Tu Writes letter of consolation to L. Gaylord Clark, in America for the death of Clark's brother, and informs him he will come to America in January.  
Writes to Washington Irving: "I can hardly believe I'm coming" to America.  
OCTOBER
02 Sa CD visits Rochester, Cobham and Gravesend with Forster.  
05 Tu In London, CD falls ill.  
08 Fr Undergoes 'a cruel operation', as he describes it to Beard on the 12, for the removal of a fistula.  
11 Mo Macready and Browning visit CD and find him 'going on very comfortably' (from Macready's diary).  
12 Tu CD tells a correspondent that he is weak but making a rapid recovery.  
17 Su Still 'on the Sofa' (to Mitton) and dictating instead of writing his letters.  
18 Mo Death of Catherine Thomson, grandmother of Catherine Dickens.  
24 Su Sudden death of George Thomson Hogarth, CD's Brother-in-law, aged twenty.  
NOVEMBER
05 Fr Finishes Barnaby Rudge.  
06 Sa Enters the White Hart Hotel in Windsor for rest and convalescence.  
16 Tu 16 Writes to Angus Fletcher: "I thank God I am getting stout and hearty, and can walk about the Parks here"  
20 Sa Leaves the White Hart Hotel  
24 We Reports himself to Miss Coutts as 'quite well'.  
Reports to Forster that he was in trim, "bolt upright, staunch at the knees, a deep sleeper, a hearty eater, a good laugher".  
DECEMBER
04 Sa Last weekly number of Master Humphrey's Clock. After the christening of Walter Landor Dickens at St Marylebone parish church, CD gives a party and guests include Elliotson, Landor, Maclise, Macready, Stanfield, and Talfourd.  
11 Th Dines at Talfourd's.  
Throughout this month, in view of his impending departure for America, CD's social life is hectic.  
15 We Third volume of Master Humphrey's Clock is published. One volume editions of Old Curiousity Shop and Barnaby Rudge appear on the same day  
16 Th Writes to Mary Talfourd to decline an invitation to her birthday party, saying that "I have made up my mind to pass all that week (after Christmas) at home for (my childrens') sakes."  
18 Sa The Talfourds dine at CD's home.  
23 Th Dines at Chapman's.  
24 Fr With Forster, attends a rehearsal of Macready's The Merchant of Venice at Drury Lane.  
Dickens reserves this last week before departing for America to spend time with his children.  
27 Mo Went to Drury Lane Theatre to see Macready in "The Merchant of Venice".  
28 Tu Writes to Macready to give his suggestions for improving The Saloon, an 'institution' in the Drury Lane Theatre.  
Writes a letter to Washington Irving to express his desire that the two visit with each other  


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