Monday, March 30, 2020

Charles Dickens in the blacking warehouse

Recently discovered records from the Court of Chancery cast fresh light on the formative experience in Charles Dickens' life.

As a boy. after his father had been imprisoned for debt, Dickens was forced to work ten-hour days as a drudge in Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station.

In a podcast for The National Archives, Michael Allen examines the new records and comes to this conclusion:
Based on the evidence in the pleadings, I would now suggest that young Charles began his life of drudgery at the age of 11, and not at the age of 12, in September 1823, and that he was at Hungerford Stairs from September 1823 to January 1824, about four months, and then the move to Chandos Street took place, and he was taken out by his father in September 1824. So that makes the year that he guessed that he was there for.

No comments: