Charles Dickens

1 portrait by Francis Alexander

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Charles Dickens

by John Angel James Wilcox, after Francis Alexander
line engraving, (1842)
8 3/8 in. x 6 1/4 in. (213 mm x 159 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Reference Collection
NPG D42289

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Francis Alexander (1800-1880 or 1881), Painter and engraver. Artist or producer associated with 1 portrait.
  • John Angel James Wilcox (born 1835), Painter, engraver and illustrator. Artist or producer associated with 1 portrait.

Events of 1842back to top

Current affairs

Edwin Chadwick publishes his damning report, Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Poor, which details the shocking living conditions of the urban poor and prompts government to take a new interest in public health issues.
A year-long depression and the rejection of the Chartist petition leads to riots, with workers striking in the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and parts of Scotland.

Art and science

Mudie's Lending Library opens, becoming one of the largest circulating libraries in the period. Made popular by the otherwise high cost of books, it exerts a great influence over literature; both by maintaining the more costly 'three decker' novel structure, and acting as moral censor.
Richard Owen, the English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist, coins the term 'dinosaur', combining the Greek words for 'formidable' and 'reptile'.

International

Treaty of Nanjing, which allows China to trade with Britain and lends Hong Kong to the British crown for 150 years. In Afghanistan, the Anglo-Afghan war ends as the British abandon Kabul, withdrawing to India and losing most of their garrison force in the operation with only one member, Dr William Brydon, surviving.

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