Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Places & Faces

Charles Dickens in Louisville

See also

Charles Dickens is considered on of the greatest writers of all time. His novels about the English working class and society in the 1800s have become classics over the centuries. What may surprise some people is that Mr. Dickens was briefly a guest to the city of Louisville. In 1842 Dickens took a tour of America for six months, travelling the East Coast and the Midwest. The trip became the basis for his travelogue, American Notes.

While still a young man at this time, Charles Dickens was already an international superstar. When he stayed at the famous Galt House hotel, fans gathered to hear him speak and read selections from his novels. He wrote of his travels from Cincinnati to Louisville, and about the local people, whom he found uniquely charming and friendly.

Dickens also wrote of his meeting with a local celebrity when visiting the Portland neighborhood. After hearing tales of the Kentucky Giant, Dickens met the famous Jim Porter. Their meeting was brief, but Porter left a lasting impression with Dickens, who wrote this about him as he walked away: When he had shown himself and talked a little while, he withdrew with his pocket-instrument, and went bobbing down the cabin, among men of six feet high and upwards, like a light-house walking among lamp-posts.

His visit to Louisville was not a long stay, but the city made an impression on him. Dickens and his wife would visit the city again on their way back to England. Dickens also inspired the alias for one of Louisville's more interesting residents. William F. Norton, Jr was a noted philanthropist but was also a noted local eccentric. He took as an alias the name of a villainous character from Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop, using the name Daniel Quilp.

Advertisement

Life

  • Derek Hough
    Derek Hough brings quadruple threat talent to 'DWTS' and beyond
    Today's Buzz
  • Hookah smoking
    Young adults believe hookah smoking pose no health threat
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Top outdoor activities
    Don't spend your summer indoors: Top outdoor activities to do with your significant other
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Baby shower idea for men
    A new twist on baby showers is throwing a Daddy Baby-Q
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Wedding special
    'Curvy Brides' offers a new look into every bride's pursuit for her picture perfect wedding gown
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Morbid obesity
    Health: Morbid obesity decreases life span by up to 16 years
    Camera
    7 Photos