Charles Dickens at the Parker House

When we stop for complimentary Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls at Parker’s Restaurant, Ben Edwards will tell you about Charles Dickens’ second visit to America. During his 1867-68 American reading tour, the distinguished novelist stayed at the Parker House in Boston. 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 from Ben’s collection you’ll hold on tour are: 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.

Images: 1) Charles Dickens in 1867 by Jeremiah Gurney. 2) The Parker House circa 1866-1870. The original portion of the building appears on the right. The large left wing was added prior to 1866. 3) An authentic autograph of Charles Dickens that you’ll hold during our visit to the historic hotel.

Dickens article excerpts from the December 3, 1867 New York Daily Tribune