Join us in 2023 for Five Weekends Nov. 18 - Dec. 17, 10am - 6pm at the Historic Cow Palace!

Dickens’ Bibliography

Books by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens enjoyed a great deal of popularity in his own time. With many of his works first published as serialized novels, in the year listed, he struck a chord with his exploration of the human condition, of poverty and injustice, and his sharp character studies that managed to be both witty and perceptive.

1836 – Sketches by Boz

  • A variety of short descriptions of London scenes and characters
  • Most useful for background and to supplement your character rather than choosing a character from these sketches

1836 – The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

  • Loaded with wonderful and comic characters
  • The early Victorian Cockney’s ideal of the successful common man who now has leisure time
  • Good Cockney dialect ‘ Sam Weller (Pickwick is a Cockney too but speaks better than Sam)

1838 – Oliver Twist

  • Learning to be a criminal
  • Daily life and customs of low class criminals: Fagin, Sykes, Nancy, etc.

1838 – Nicholas Nickleby

  • Theatrical characters
  • Daily middle class life
  • Lots of young characters’ boarding school life

1840- Sketches of Young Couples

  • A commentary on dating and marriage in the Victorian era.

1841 – Barnaby Rudge

  • Rioters and apprentices

1841 – Old Curiosity Shop

  • Daily lower middle class life
  • Jarleys Waxworks

1843 – Martin Chuzzlewit

  • Lots of Americans, wrong country: do not use them

1843 – A Christmas Carol (in The Christmas Books)

  • A short book
  • Fezziwig’s domestic ball
  • Good Cockney dialect ‘ the laundress and other who steal Scrooge’s deathbed curtains

    1844 – The Chimes (in The Christmas Books)

    • A short New Year’s story
    • Poor but honest Cockneys and rich, evil bureaucrats

    1845 – The Cricket on the Hearth (in The Christmas Books)

    • A short Christmas story
    • Wonderful lower middle class daily life
    • Poor but honest Cockneys

    1846 – Dombey and Son

    • Upper middle class and merchant life ‘ shipping and business

    1846 – The Battle of Life (in The Christmas Books)

    • A short Christmas story

    1848 – The Haunted Man (in The Christmas Books)

    • A short Christmas story

    1849 – David Copperfield

    • Home life of the Murdstones, upper middle class town people
    • The boy, David, discovers London
    • Home life of the Micawbers, lower middle class city people
    • David’s courtship and marriage ‘ a social diagnosis

    1852 – Bleak House

    • Law and justice in the London courts ‘ Jo as a representative figure
    • Mr. Tulkinghorn as a representative middle class Englishman
    • The Dedlocks ‘ an upper class old country family and their lifestyle

    1859 – A Tale of Two Cities

    • Revolutionary Frenchmen, wrong period: do not use as reference material for the Dickens Fair

    1859 – Great Expectations

    • The life of a London gentleman, such as Pip hoped to become
    • The methods and problems of a criminal lawyer like Jaggers
    • The Thames and its traffic

    1870 – The Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished)

    • Because the book is incomplete, it may not be the best source

      Other Books & Stories by Charles Dickens

      “Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”

      ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

      Skip to content