This video takes listeners through an 8-step process for decoding the shorthand writing of Victorian author Charles Dickens

Digital resources

Below are a range of free-to-access digital resources that provide additional insight into Dickens’s shorthand, his life, and his work.

  • The original Brachygraphy manual can be accessed here. Dickens used this to teach himself the shorthand system.
  • Dickens’s shorthand book at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, outlines his take on the rules of Brachygraphy – as well as listing some of the new symbols that he created.
  • Newly discovered Dickens letters are made freely available via the Charles Dickens Letters Project.
  • You can access Dickens’s journals, Household Words and All the Year Round via the University of Buckingham’s Dickens Journals Online project.
  • Various collections of Dickens’s letters can be accessed here, via