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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > June 2016 > The Extraordinary Tale of...

The Extraordinary Tale of...

How the Staplehurst rail disaster affected Britain’s beloved author

1865 CHARLES DICKENS SURVIVES BRUSH WITH DEATH IN TRAIN CRASH

When his train derails while crossin g a brid g e, the celebrated novelist con f ronted death, despair and destruction to save others – and his work

Shortly after 3pm on 9 June 1865, the daily train from Folkestone, Kent, to London chugged past the small, country station of Headcorn when the driver saw an alarming sight not far up ahead. At the side of the railway stood a man waving a red flag, a sure sign of something amiss on the line ahead.

OUR MUTUAL END

On 9 June 1870, five years to the day after the Staplehurst disaster, Charles Dickens died, having suffered a stroke.

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