Charles Dickens at the Parker House

During his 1867-68 American reading tour, Charles Dickens stayed at the Parker House in Boston—famous today as home of the original Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls. The hotel opened in 1855, was five stories high, had an exterior faced in white marble, and a beautiful marble foyer. A photo of the Parker House from the time period of Dickens’ visit appears on this page. Charles Dickens described the stately building as “immense,” and noted that he lived very high up, and had both hot and cold water in the bath—a luxury at the time.

Two items in Ben’s collection include: an authentic autograph of Charles Dickens, and an original issue of the New York Daily Tribune from December 3, 1867 containing press coverage of Dickens’ first reading in America at Boston’s Tremont Temple. Here he performed both A Christmas Carol and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

The clipping shown here that mentions the Parker House is only a small portion of the lengthy front page newspaper article in the New York Daily Tribune. You can listen to an audio recording below containing three excerpts from that article. View a transcript of the complete article.

Charles Dickens in 1867 by Jeremiah Gurney

The Parker House circa 1866-1870

Signature

An autograph of Charles Dickens

Dickens Mirror

Mirror from the rooms at the Parker House occupied by Charles Dickens 1867-1868. In it he rehearsed for his performances of A Christmas Carol.

Dickens Mirror

The door to the rooms at the Parker House occupied by Charles Dickens 1867-1868

Dickens Mirror

The Parker House from 1886-1925