Charles Dickens – Portsmouth’s most famous son..
Portsmouth, the Home of Great Writing, has touched the lives and works of Britain’s most famous writers - from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Michelle Magorian, from H.G. Wells to Neil Gaiman. But the city’s most famous son is Charles Dickens – novelist, journalist, and social commentator. Although homes in London and Chatham would later claim him, Dickens’ early life was spent in Portsmouth.
Charles Dickens was born at 1 Mile End Terrace (now re-named 393 Old Commercial Road) on 7th February 1812 - the first married home of his parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens. Here you can experience the authentic atmosphere of the comfortable Regency home which would have greeted the new-born Dickens. Much of Victorian Portsmouth still remains in the city’s streets and heritage, drawn upon by Dickens himself in Nicholas Nickleby. The Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum is the perfect place to start exploring and experiencing the work of one of England’s most famous and best-loved writers.
The displays bring the birthplace to life, perfectly presenting the furnishings and style of the Dickens family. A fully-furnished parlour, dining room and bedroom feature genuine Regency furniture and household items, allowing you to step into the world of the 19th century Dickens family. See exhibits belonging to the man himself, including personal possessions such as his snuff box and even the very couch on which he died.