Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. The local branch of the Dickens Fellowship decided to commission a statue of the great author to stand outside the city’s Guildhall.
Following a competition between sculptors this seated pose was chosen, representing Dickens as if he was backstage in a theatre green room, about to rise and deliver one of his famous readings. He holds one of his novels open, rehearsing his delivery, while others are piled next to his seat.
The sculpture was unveiled on the anniversary of his birth in front of a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters, among whom were some 40 descendants with the surname Dickens..