But most of all he strove to promote, publish and conserve the works of Charles Dickens. He collected his books and memorabilia throughout his life and the results of this dedication may be seen the collection he gave to Rochester Museum in 1912 on the one hundredth anniversary of Dickens’ birth. The gift was reported in the local press:

The munificent gift by Mr Percy Fitzgerald, F.S.A.,of a Dickens Library of about four hundred volumes is a valuable addition to the Dickens Room. The books are all in perfect condition, and most uniformly bound in half calf, green gilt.

The library, which is now properly provided for, and cased, consists of all books relating to the late Charles Dickens, his life and his works, together with several albums of Dickens Miscellanea, the collections of Mr Fitzgerald's life. These books may be consulted at all times in the Hall of the Museum on application.

Chatham News, 15 March 1913

It is now in Medway Archives Centre where, of course, it is still available for consultation by anyone with a similar passion.

Throughout his life he was always generous and keen to share items for exhibition and with a wider audience. In 1900, he founded The Boz Club which was devoted to promoting Dickens' work. It was based in The Athenaeum Club, where both he and Dickens were members and was an exclusively male body.

It was followed, three years later by The Dickens Fellowship, which was open to interested women members and Fitzgerald was honoured to become its first President.

Books donated by Percy.

A selection of volumes from the Percy Fitzgerald Collection held at Medway Archives Centre.

Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald exhibition home page