Words Darren Hawes
Illustrations Luke Stuart
“…a retired spot, not of the choicest kind, leading into the fields.”
An unassuming birth, to an unassuming family, at an unassuming address; it’s hard to believe that Charles John Huffam Dickens would become the most recognisable name in English Literature from such humble beginnings. From Nicholas Nickleby to Great Expectations, some of Dickens’ most famous works were influenced by the immediate areas within and surrounding Fitzrovia. It’s understandable how this corner of London captured Dickens’ imagination. In 1815 when he was just a toddler, the Dickens family found lodgings at 10 Norfolk Street – now 22 Cleveland Street. John Dickens was a naval clerk and his duties found him relocated to the capital. Although they only stayed here for a few years, Charles later returned in 1829 as seen on an old reader’s ticket for the British Museum where he gives the same address of 10 Norfolk Street as his own. There is, however, an oddly different piece of evidence that suggests his address was in fact Number 15 Fitzroy Street (now 25) between 1830 and 1833.