Victorian illustration to download showing a picture of the novelist Charles Dickens giving his last public reading, 1870. He stands at a lectern, gesturing dramatically. After a gruelling series of readings in 1868-69, Dickens became ill; in 1870 he gave a final series of 12 readings. At this last one, in March 1870, he read from ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Pickwick Papers’. On 8 June he suffered a stroke and died the next day.