Skip to main content

Dickens and Shakespeare

In this video, Dr Charlotte Mathieson meets with Dr Paul Edmondson and Professor Stanley Wells, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, to discuss Dickens' relationship with the Trust.

Dickens had a lifelong interest in Shakespeare, right from his earliest years. 1838 was a very important year because Dickens visited the area – he stayed in Leamington and went to Warwick, Kenilworth and Stratford and visited Shakespeare’s Birthplace. He writes in some length about Leamington in 'Dombey and Son', but it’s actually in his earlier novel 'Nicholas Nickleby' that he recounts his visit to the house and signing the guest book.

Shakespeare had such a profound influence on Dickens: we find Shakespearian references and quotes throughout his work, particularly drawing on Hamlet and Macbeth. But Dickens also played a vital role in preserving Shakespeare's literary heritage and its thanks to him and his contemporaries that the Birthplace remains for us to enjoy today.

Dr Charlotte Mathieson