Charles Dickens 1812 - 1870
Places Associated With His Works
Charles Dickens’ Illustrators
Charles Huffam Dickens, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens, was born in Landport on 7th February 1812. He became a great
English writer and social critic and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period as well as the creator of some of the world's most
memorable fictional characters. His father, John Dickens worked as a clerk at the Navy pay office in Portsmouth. He later found work in Chatham and
Charles, the second of seven children, went to the local school. Charles, aged twelve, found work at Warren's Blacking Factory, where he was paid six
shillings a week wrapping shoe-black bottles. Six months after being sent to Marshalsea, one of John Dickens's relatives died. He was left enough money in
the will to pay off his debts and to leave prison.
Charles Dickens decided later he wanted to become a reporter. In 1828, aged sixteen, Dickens found work as a court reporter. Later he joined the
Mirror of Parliament, a newspaper that reported the daily proceedings of Parliament. In 1833 Dickens had his first story published in the Monthly
Magazine. Using the pen-name of 'Boz', Dickens also began contributing short stories to the Morning Chronicle and the London Evening Chronicle. These
stories were so popular that they were collected together and published as a book entitled Sketches by Boz (1836). But it was the serial publication of The
Pickwick Papers that rocketed Charles to fame. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, celebrated for his humour, satire,
and keen observation of character and society.
These considerable pages, created by a former branch chairman of the international ‘Dickens Fellowship’ explores the life, the times and the writings
of this incredibly fascinating man and novelist. His fifteen major novels, numerous short stories and articles, as well as editor to periodicals as made him
synonymous with a much loved era. Think of Charles Dickens and the whole array Victorian life and environment are conjured up. Stagecoaches and
snow at Christmas. The busy and hustling streets of Victorian London. Sadly though the poverty stricken lives of the poor and needy also come to mind.
The money grabbing, cruel schoolmasters, terrible social conditions and the life of the rich also swirl around in the imaginative and acutely observant
mind of the genius that is Charles Dickens.
He is the creator of so memorable and marvellous novels that are still read all over tbe world. Although much contact with Dickens these days comes
via the many festivals and 'visitor' themes held around the country every year, it is his numerous, marvellous novels and short stories that will always keep
his memory ' forever green'. Today these books are read with as much enjoyment,interest and pathos as they were during his lifetime. Pratically all his
works have been transferred into either plays films or television serials and a complete new genre bears his name ' Dickensian'. The characters and stories
created by his genius are so much loved, they have formed an important part of British culture. Such books include unforgettable , inspirational and
cherished incidents, often quoted anecdotes, collection of remarkable individuals, so many extraordinary characters and magical story lines and outliving
his life that ended prematurely in 1870.
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