Friends of the Dickens Forum,
Letter from Dan Calinescu, excerpted from communication of Herb
> 48 Doughty Street is NOT the only remaining home of Dickens in London. The
> very first home Dickens had in London, when he was three and four years
> old, was at 10 Norfolk Street in Fitzrovia. That street is now called
> Cleveland Street and Dickens's former home is now numbered 22 Cleveland Street.
> That house is still standing where it was when Dickens lived there - not only
> once, but again when he was 17 and 18 years old. It is still occupied on
> all three floors.
> Coincidentally, the house is located about 10 doors down from the former
> Cleveland Street Work House! Ruth Richardson has chronicled the story of the
> Dickens's house and of the Work House in her book DICKENS AND THE WORK
> A few years ago, I donated the funds to create a 'Blue Plaque' which was
> to be placed on that house to celebrate Dickens's first London residence.
> The unveiling of that plaque was done by none other than Lucinda Dickens. We
> had a 'Flash Mob' of well over 100 people, some in Dickensian costumes,
> attend the unveiling. A short video of the ceremony is available on Youtube.
> Herb, I am not sure if you remember, but it was through your good graces
> that Ruth Richardson and I connected a number of years ago. She had hunted
> down the auction records for the very first calling card which Charles
> Dickens had made for himself and which read:
> Mr Charles Dickens
> Short Hand Writer
> 10 Norfolk Street, Fitzroy Square.
The address he used on the card is the same address he used to get his
British Library reading ticket on February 8th, 1830 - one day after his
> In her work with the preservation of the Cleveland Street Work House, Ruth
> had made the connection that Norfolk Street was now Cleveland Street and
> that the house in which Dickens had lived and which is there today, was just
> doors down from the Work House. She needed proof that Dickens had actually
> lived at on Norfolk Street, and the card had provided that important link.
> As it turned out, the card is in my collection and, when I read Ruth's
> appeal to the present owner of the card, I asked you if you could give me her
> contact information, which you, very kindly, did.
> Ruth and I started to correspond and the following summer, when I visited
> London I saw the house. When I asked Ruth why there was no plaque on the
> house commemorating Dickens's first home in London, she told me that there
> was almost no money any more to fund such plaques. That is when I made the
> decision to sponsor such a 'Blue Plaque' which was to be displayed to
> recognize Dickens's first London home at what is now 22 Cleveland Street.
> It is my 'Thank You' to Charles Dickens for the way my involvement with
> his life and his work has changed my life.
> ....I believe that this card shows the first time Dickens's name has
> appeared in print.
> Best - cheers - Dan
> Dan Calinescu,
> BOZ AND FRIENDS FINE AND RARE BOOKS,
> 350 Seneca Hill Dr., Suite 806,
> Toronto, Ontario,Canada, M2J 4S7,