Tour Locations | Charles Dickens from Furnival's Inn to Doughty Street
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Charles took his 14-year-old brother Fred with him when he left home. This was for two reasons: he was now earning money, as a freelance writer, and wanted to help his parents financially, and he wanted to get Fred away from what he saw as the bad influence of their father, John Dickens. Charles was very fond of his father, but he knew John wasn’t a good role model. Sadly, years later, after a scandalous divorce case, Fred would end up in a debtors’ prison, just like their father.
It was while living at Furnival's Inn that Charles Dickens started writing The Pickwick Papers. It was also where he had a birthday party in 1835 and invited the family of his editor, George Hogarth. His eldest daughter, Catherine Hogarth, wrote afterwards that it was a fun party and that "Mr Dickens improves on acquaintance"; he must have "improved" very much because, just a few weeks later, Charles proposed to Catherine and she accepted. After their first child, Charley, was born, they had to move house. Dickens’s lease expressly forbade the presence of children!