Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens ( /ˈtʃɑrlz ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic who is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters. During his lifetime Dickens's works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was fully recognized by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to enjoy an enduring popularity among the general reading public.

Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into debtors' prison. Though he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. He edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.

Dickens sprang to fame with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, celebrated for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens went on to improve the character with positive lineaments. Fagin in Oliver Twist apparently mirrors the famous fence, Ikey Solomon; His caricature of Leigh Hunt in the figure of Mr Skimpole in Bleak House was likewise toned down on advice from some of his friends, as they read episodes. In the same novel, both Lawrence Boythorne and Mooney the beadle are drawn from real life – Boythorne from Walter Savage Landor and Mooney from 'Looney', a beadle at Salisbury Square. His plots were carefully constructed, and Dickens often wove in elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.

Dickens was regarded as the 'literary colossus' of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, is one of the most influential works ever written, and it remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. His creative genius has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to G. K. Chesterton and George Orwell—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism.

Read more about Charles DickensDeath, Literary Style, Reception, Influence and Legacy, Notable Works

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Charles Dickens, Jr. - Bibliography - Dickens's Dictionary of The Thames
... Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, From Oxford to the Nore An Unconventional Handbook is the second book of Charles Dickens, Jr ... The "1880" edition was first published in London in 1879, by "Charles Dickens and Evans" (Dickens Jr and his father-in-law, publisher Frederick Evans) ... The next 1880 edition and further were slightly retitled to Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, From Its Source to the Nore An Unconventional Handbook ...
Cedric Charles Dickens
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Mary Dickens - Childhood
... Mamie' Dickens was born at the family home in Doughty Street in London and was named after Mary Hogarth, who had died in 1837 and who was the sister of her ... In December 1839 the Dickens family moved from 48 Doughty Street to 1 Devonshire Terrace ... In her book Charles Dickens by His Eldest Daughter (1885), she described her father's method of writing In 1855 Charles Dickens took his two daughters to Paris ...
List Of A Christmas Carol Adaptations - Adaptations - Recordings
... Pickwick's Christmas, narrated by Charles Laughton ... In 1960, Dan O'Herlihy recorded the complete Dickens novel on a set of 4 16-RPM LP's, one of the few instances that this speed was used for a professional recording ... The actor Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, has recorded a CD of A Christmas Carol which is unabridged and in which he plays twenty-six ...
Lucinda Hawksley - Career
... and curated an exhibition of the paintings of her relative Kate Dickens-Perugini in 2002 at the Charles Dickens Museum in London ... As a speaker and lecturer she has spoken at the International Charles Dickens Conference, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the ... In December 2007 she appeared as herself in the BBC docudrama Charles Dickens the Invention of Christmas, written and presented by Griff Rhys Jones ...

Famous quotes by charles dickens:

    When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.
    Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

    By the by, who ever knew a man who never read or wrote neither who hadn’t got some small back parlour which he would call a study!
    Charles Dickens (1812–1870)