The National Archives Podcast Series

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Listen to talks, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.


Charles Dickens, Warren's Blacking and the Chancery Court

October 1st, 2010

Episode 155 of 495 episodes

At the age of 12, the delicate and genteelly brought up Charles Dickens was plunged into employment in a boot-blacking factory, while his father was incarcerated in Marshalsea debtors' prison. These events traumatised the young Dickens, and greatly influenced his future work. However, as an adult this difficult period was never discussed, and only after his death did his account come out. That account has never been corroborated or challenged, but author Michael Allen has discovered that Dickens' employers at Warren's Blacking were fighting each other in the Chancery Court, revealing a great deal of new information.

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