Dickens´s Brothers


Dickens Fredrick William

(1820-1868) Dickens´s younger brother. Lived with Dickens before his marriage, and afterwards at Doughty Street. Dickens procured a clerkship for him in the Secretary’s Office of the Custom House. He joined the Dickens family on a Continental tour in 1844, and narrowly escaped drowning at Albaro. After Fredrick´s death Dickens commented, ”It was a wasted life, but God forbid that one should be hard upon it, or upon anything in this world that is not deliberately and coldly wrong.”

Dickens, Alfred Lamert

(1822-1860) Dickens´s younger brother. Trained as a civil engineer, he became a sanitary inspector. His death left his widow Helen and her five children in straitened circumstances, for Alfred had been a bad manager of money. Dickens, despite other pressing commitments, undertook the support and housing of the family, and found a house for them on Haverstock Hill. Finding responsibility for Helen too much, he turned to his sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth for help with her and her affairs for, he said, ” I really can not bear the irritation she causes me.”

Dickens, Augustus (1827-66)

Dickens´s youngest brother. It was he whom Dickens in honor of the Vicar of Wakefield, had nicknamed ”Moses” which facetiously pronounced through the nose became ”Boses” and ultimately ”Boz”. Boz was a very familiar household word to me, long before I was an author,and so I came to adopt it, Dickens told Forster. Augustus´ life proved a disappointment to his brother; Thomas Chapman, of Chapman & Hall, found him ”City employment” about 1847, but he gave it up and deserted his blind wife to elope to America with another woman. From there he wrote to Dickens for funds, and died impoverished in Chicago, leaving his relict and several children penniless. ”Poor fellow! a sad business altogether,” said Dickens, and undertook the support not only of them but of Augustus´s deserted wife. Until Dickens´s death Augustus´s eldest son Bertram, received 50 ponds a year.

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