1812: Born on Friday, 7 February at Landport, a suburb of Portsmouth to John, a clerk in the navy pay-office attached to the dockyard, and Elizabeth Dickens.
1814: Father transferred to London with family.
1816: Father transferred to Chatham
First gets some schooling, although already an avid reader.
1821: Reforms in the Admiralty lose his father his post and most of his incorne. Family moves to a house in Camden Town, London.
1824: Father arrested for debt February 2 and consigned to the Marshalsea, where family joins him. Separated from family and put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory at Hungerford Market, CD walks four miles to and from lodgings in Camden Town; visits his father on Sundays at prison. Eventually family finds him lodging in Lant Street close to them. After father's release on May 28, family returns to Camden Town. Attends day school in Hampstead Road, London.
1827: Taken from school; becomes office boy of an attorney; decides to become a journalist.
1829: Free-lance reporter at Doctor's Commons Courts.
1830: Meets and falls in love with Maria Beadnell.
1831: Acts as parliamentary reporter during Reform Bill agitation.
1833: His love affair with Maria Beadnell ends. His first published story, "Dinner at Poplar Walk," appears in Monthly Magazine.
1834: Working as newspaper reporter, adopts the pseudonym "Boz." Father once again arrested for debt; Charles comes to his aid.
1835: Becomes engaged to Catherine Hogarth, daughter of his friend George Hogarth, an editor.
1839: Resigns as editor of Bentley's Miscellany. Last part of Oliver Twist appears in April. Nicholas Nickleby finishes in October.
1840: First number of Master Humphrey's Clock, which becomes his next two stories, appears. Begins The Old Curiosity Shop.
1841: Finishes The Old Curiosity Shop in February. Begins Barnaby Rudge, which continues through November.
1842: Travels through Canada and the United States. American Notes appears in October, creating a furor in America.
1843: Begins Martin Chuzzlewit. A Christmas Carol, the first of his Christmas books, appears in December.
1844: Tours Italy with family. Returns to London in December, when The Chimes is published. Leaves London for Genoa.
1845: Debut of his amateur theatrical company. The Cricket and the Hearth published. Returns to England in July.
1846: Begins Dombey and Son, which runs until April 1 848. With family travels to Lausanne, then Paris. The Battle of Life appears in December.
1847: Returns to England.
1848: Writes autobiographical fragment.
Directs and acts in amateur theatricals.
Publishes final Christmas book, The Haunted Man, in December.
1849: David Copperfield begins running.
1850: David Copperfield finishes in November. Founds and edits the weekly Household Words.
1851: Begins work on Bleak House.
1852: Bleak House begins to appear monthly.
1853: Bleak House ends in September. Tours Italy with Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins. Returns to England. Gives the first of many public readings from his own works. Summers in Boulogne.
1854: Hard Times appears weekly in Household Words until August. With family spends summer and fall in Boulogne.
1855: With family travels to Paris in October. Little Dorrit begins to appear monthly.
1856: Collaborates with Wilkie Collins on a play, The Frozen Deep. Purchases Gad's Hill, an estate he had admired as a child.
1857: Little Dorrit ends in June. With family spends summer at renovated Gad's Hill. Hans Christian Anderson, whose fairy tales Dickens admires greatly, visits. His theatrical company performs The Frozen Deep for the Queen. Falls in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress.
1858: In London, undertakes his first public readings for pay. Quarrels with Thackeray. Separates from Catherine.
1859: His London readings continue. Begins new weekly, All the Year Round. A Tale of Two Cities appears, continues through November.
1860: His family takes up residence at Gad's Hill. Burns many personal letters. Great Expectations begins to appear weekly.
1861: Embarks on yet another series of public readings in London. Great Expectations finishes in August.
1862: His public readings continue.
1863: Continues public readings in Paris and London. Reconciles with Thackeray just before the latter's death.
1864: Our Mutual Friend begins to appear monthly. Health begins to fail, much because of over work.
1865: Railway accident badly shakes him and Ellen Ternan. Our Mutual Friend ends in November.
1866: Continues public readings in England and Scotland.
1867: Continues public readings in England and Ireland. Unwell but carries on, against doctor's advice. Embarks on an American reading tour.
1868: Finishes his American reading tour. His health worsens, but takes additional duties at All the Year Round.
1869: Continues readings in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Shows symptoms of mild stroke; provincial readings canceled. Begins The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
1870: His final public readings take place in London. Suffers a stroke on June 8 at Gad's Hill, after a full day's work. Dies on June 9, and is buried at Westminster Abbey on June 14. Last of his unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood appears in September.