Montreal Dickens Fellowship
for the best of times

Dickens Fun Facts


Charles Dickens had a very colorful, intense and often controversial life. He had a finger in many different pies! Did you know
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  1. He liked to dress in brightly colored (often called garish) clothing.
  2. He believed in and practiced mesmerism.
  3. He was very interested and involved in the interior decoration of his homes.
  4. He had to sleep aligned with the north/south to maintain his creativity and rearranged hotel furniture to accomplish this.
  5. He had a door disguised as a bookcase with humorous “fake” names in his study.
  6. His favorite flower was the red geranium.
  7. He enjoyed accompanying police on their nightly rounds and visiting morgues.
  8. He is credited with inspiring the parents of Helen Keller to send her to the Perkins school after they read his account of Laura Bridgeman in American notes.
  9. He was very involved in running a house for fallen women for many years.
  10. He spent many months living with his family in Italy, Switzerland and France and was fluent in Italian and French.
  11. He was an excellent magician, performing often for his many children.
  12. He had a beloved pet raven named Grip who is said to have inspired Poe’s “The Raven”. He had it stuffed after its death in 1841.
  13. He had a miniature Swiss chalet sent to him as a gift. He had to assemble it. He lined the inner walls with mirrors. He spent hours writing in it.
  14. He walked 10-20 miles every day, often at a rapid pace.
  15. He was compulsively tidy.
  16. He named many of his children after famous authors.
  17. He was friends with Hans Christian Anderson, but made fun of him behind his back for outstaying his welcome.
  18. He did not want to be buried in Westminster Abbey. There was such a public outcry about this, he was buried in poet’s corner “against his wishes”.
  19. He did not want statues or monuments erected in his name. He wanted to be remembered for his works.
  20. There is a theme park “ Dickens World” in Chatham dockyard in Kent, where Dickens lived as a boy.