Charles Dickens is one of the most celebrated authors of all time, yet only three statues have ever been created in his image. The author himself requested in his will that no public monuments be erected in his honor, as he preferred the idea of being remembered only through his work.
Dickens certainly got part of his wish. His books are some of the most widely read there are, and he remains as popular today as he was during his life.
This particular sculpture’s origins are not known for sure, but it is believed that it was created by Job Hanson sometime around 1891. Originally, the statue was acquired to stand among other famous figures to decorate the new parklands.
But in 1972, after a long stint on display, the artwork was put into storage and forgotten about. After multiple enquires over many years by Dickens enthusiasts, and even a great-grandson of the author, the statue was located in the storage of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens in 2007.
After some much needed TLC, the Dickens statue was restored, which included the reconstruction of his head, among other things. The newly restored statue was unveiled in 2011 on what would have been Dickens’ 199th birthday. Each year on his birthday, the NSW Dickens Society gather at the statue and enjoy cake in his honor.