When Dickens had a disagreement with his partners in Household Words in 1859, he closed the journal and replaced it with All the Year Round that April. The new journal still covered social issues but also offered general interest articles and stories. Two of his most important works—A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61)—first appeared as serialized novels in the magazine.
Dickens's continued practice of political agitation also kept him in the public eye. His fame led to a new adventure as an entertainer, using his own writings in public readings. The readings became an important part of his work and were made necessary, in part, by heavy financial obligations. The demands were due to his ever increasing family as well as the purchase of his dream home, Gad's Hill Place, in Kent.
Dickens's first public reading occurred in April 1858. His readings were so popular that he received an invitation to return to America and perform. He sailed for Boston aboard the Cuba on November 9, 1867, and landed ten days later amid a shower of rockets and flares welcoming him back. Both America and Dickens had changed in twenty-five years. Old resentments were forgotten during his tour of sixteen eastern cities.
Dickens triumphed on the stage as well as at the box office, but the schedule he kept exacted a heavy toll on his health. Returning to England in April 1868, the tour continued, as did his work as editor and publisher of All the Year Round. On June 9, 1870, Dickens died and was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey in London on June 14. Only about a dozen of his closest friends and family attended his funeral.