After the success of his lectures, Coleridge makes his way home to Keswick to see his wife, Charlotte, and his children. Richard Holmes in Coleridge: Darker Reflections (New York: Harper Collins, 2000) writes:
On 10 February 1812, he bundled into the northern night mail coach from the City, scrawling off a last-minute letter of optimistic plans from the shop-counter of the Brent family business in Bishopsgate Street. He thought he could reimburse all his travel expenses with “a couple of Lectures” given en route at Liverpool. Further letters sped back to the Morgans from various coaching inns at Slough, Birmingham and Kendal, and his spirits were high. He was pursued, he said, by fleas and fumigated them with his “Snuff Cannister”. (He discovered the Liverpool Mail was nicknamed the “LousyRead Liverpool”.)
A fellow passenger, a “handy Gentleman” heaped straw round his legs and unsuccessfully tried to pick his fob-watch. He did his Devonshire voices, made appalling puns about his companions, and teased Charlotte in little footnotes. “I know you are fond of Letters in general, from A to Z, Charlotte, with the exception of three; but yet don’t throw it into the fire, when you find it from S.T.C.” (Charlotte may not have noticed that it rhymed.)
Passing through Birmingham he observed the huge new factories from his carriage window, “a cluster of enormous Furnaces, with columns of flame instead of Smoke from their chimneys”, and alongside the great slag-heaps of the coal mines with “pools and puddles of water smoking” between them. This new infernal landscape, the product of wartime industry, fascinated him as a vision of England’s future industrial might. He made notes on production and transport costs (“£1.7.0 for the double Cart-load, weighing 35 Cwt.” by canal) but also had strange dreams, “Sleep-adventures” which involved travelling through an underground Hell of “Brimstone”. (Forty years later these same infernal cityscapes at Birmingham and Preston would inspire Dickens's vision of Coketown in Hard Times).
Dickens was 3 days old on February 10, 1812.