Description

In the late 1830s, Charles Dickens (1812–1870) lived next to the Foundling Hospital in central London. The refuge for abandoned children had been founded in 1741 by Thomas Coram (1668–1751); Coram’s charity continues to work with vulnerable children at the site today, and Coram’s Fields is now a children’s nursery and play area.

Dickens supported the Hospital in a number of ways. As well as contributing financially, he rented a pew in its chapel and referred to it and its activities many times in his fiction (such as the foundling Tattycoram in Little Dorrit, 1855–57) and non-fiction (such as his 1853 article Received, a Blank Child, the title coming from text on a child’s entry form).

Among his last works was No Thoroughfare, a stage play co-written with Wilkie Collins in 1867, and also published as a novel. The story deals with two foundlings at the Hospital given the same name, with unfortunate consequences. Shown here is part of the prompt’s copy of the script.

Transcript