Did You Know: Charles Dickens

Did you know…?

Victorian author Charles Dickens had his own personal postbox during the early days of the trademark red wall-boxes?

In 1859, the author of Oliver Twistcampaigned for his very own personal postbox.¹ He was a very prolific letter writer, and the nearest postbox was in the village of Higham in Kent, which was over a mile away from his own house in Gad’s Hill. This involved a steep hill, which would not have been a easy road for Dickens to take regularly. He was such a frequent writer, writing dozens of letters, resulting in 14,000 letters in total! First closed during the early 1990’s, last December, the Dicken’s postbox was recommissioned 150 years after Dickens first used it.² A plaque is now above the postbox, providing details of Dickens’ links to it. The first postboxes appeared in 1852 in Jersey, which were so successful, they soon appeared on the UK mainland.

Personal postbag and the personal postbox. Source: BBC News.
¹ Kaythryn Westcott, Why Did Charles Dickens Have a Personal Postbox, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30399042, (10 December 2015), [Accessed: December 2014]. 
² Caroline Davies, Personal Postbox of Charles Dickens Goes Back Into Service, http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/10/charles-dickens-personal-postbox-back-in-service, (10 December 2014), [Accessed: 3 March 2015].   

One thought on “Did You Know: Charles Dickens”

  1. fascinating!

    I participated in a republication exercise with the Dickens Archive a while back – checking lumps of his published newsletters – can’t remember what it was called just now – smile – and it was amazing how dense and quite boring it all was – rather spoilt Dickens for me, but maybe I got a boring segment to do – smile


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