Dickens, Mary

BORN 6 Mar 1838, London: Doughty Street - DIED 23 Jul 1896, Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire
GRAVE LOCATION Sevenoaks, Kent: St. Nicholas churchyard, Rectory Lane (extension at the back: family grave)

Mary Dickens was the oldest daughter of the famous Charles Dickens. She was named after her aunt Mary Hogarth who had died in 1837 and she was called Mamey. In 1855 Dickens travelled to Paris with her and her sister Kate and there they had dancing lesses, art classes and language lessons.

She appeared in several amateur theatre productions that were directed by her father, including "The Lighthouse" (1855) and "The Frozen Deep" (1857), both written by her father's close friend Wilkie Collins. After her parents divorced in 1858 she stayed with her father and she became the hostess of his home Gads Hill Place near Rochester in Kent. She only saw her mother again after her father had died in 1870. In 1860 she assisted Dickens in burning his letters. She asked him to keep some of them, but he refused.

About her life after 1870 not much is known, although she lived with her brother Henry Dickens and her aunt Georgina Hogarth. Georgina observed that Mary drank too much. Together with Georgina and advised by Wilkie Collins she edited a collection of her father's letters (1880). After she left her aunt she lived in Manchester with a clergyman, Mr Hargreaves, and his wife. Later she lived alone in the country.

In 1896 she published a book of reminiscences of her father, "My Father As I Recall Him" (1896). She died on 23 July 1896 at Farnham Royal and was buried at Sevenoaks, Kent. Her sister Kate would be buried beside her in 1930.

• Father: Dickens, Charles
• Mother: Hogarth, Catherine
• Sister: Dickens, Kate
• Brother: Dickens, Charles Culliford Boz
• Brother: Dickens, Alfred Tennyson
• Brother: Dickens, Henry Fielding

Related persons
• was painted by Millais, John


The grave of Kate Dickens and Charles Perugini (left) and the grave of Mary Dickens (right) at St. Nicholas churchyard, Sevenoaks, Kent.
Picture by Androom (06 Feb 2012)


Mary Dickens - Wikipedia

Diday, François

Published: 13 Jul 2014
Last update: 09 Mar 2022