Charles DickensCharles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens is the greatest English writer that ever lived. He was one of the most popular writers in the history of literature. Surely no English author is so well known and so widely read, translated and remembered as Charles Dickens. He fame is well deserved. From the pen of this great author came such characters as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, Mr. Pickwick, and Little Nett.
Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth and spent most of his childhood in London and Kent, both of which appear frequently in his novels. Charles Dickens was the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens worked as a clerk at the Navy pay office in Portsmouth. Charles, the second of seven children, went to the local school. John Dickens found it difficult to provide for his growing family on his small pay. In 1822 the family moved to Camden Town in London. John Dickens’ debts had become so severe that all the household goods were sold. Still unable to satisfy his creditors, John Dickens was arrested and sent to Marshalsea Prison. At age 12, Charles found work at Warren’s Blacking Factory, where he was paid six shillings a week wrapping shoeblack bottles. The brief time that he worked at the Blacking Factory haunted him all of his life. He spoke of it only to his wife and to his closest friend, John Forster. The rough time he had there would show up in his stories David Copperfield and in Great Expectations. 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. Some of the inheritance was used to educate Charles at a nearby private school, Wellington House Academy. Charles was only a moderate student and at the age of fifteen he left school and found work as an office boy in a firm of solicitors. Charles Dickens decided he wanted to become a reporter. He purchased a copy of Gurney’s Brachgraphy and taught himself shorthand. At the age of sixteen, Charles Dickens found work as a court reporter. Later he joined the Mirror of Parliament, a newspaper that reported the daily proceedings of Parliament. Perhaps developing the power of precise description made his creative writing so detailed, descriptive, and outstanding. Dickens became interested in the subject of social reform and started contributing articles to the radical newspaper, the True Sun. Despite having to charge the heavy tax imposed on newspapers, the True Sun sold 30,000 copies a day. In his articles, Dickens used his knowledge of what went on in the House of Commons to help make changes in parliament. Charles Dickens was pleased when Parliament eventually agreed to pass the 1832 Reform Act. In 1833 Charles 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 Evening Chronicle. These stories were so popular that they were collected together and published as a book entitled Sketches by Boz. In 1835 he met and became engaged to Catherine Hogarth. Dickens earned enough money to marry Catherine Hogarth on April 2, 1836. During the same year he became editor of Bentley’s Miscellany, published the second series of Sketches by Boz, and met John Forster, who would become his closest friend and confidant as well as his first biographer. The success of Pickwick Papers, Dickens first novel made him famous. Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby followed this. Dickens was now the most popular writer in Britain and over the next few years he wrote a series of popular novels including The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, Martin Chuzzlewit. Dickens is probably most remembered at Christmas time because of his novel A Christmas Carol that is my all time favorite Christmas story. Dickens also decided to invest some of his royalties in a new radical newspaper, The Daily News. It was not a great commercial success and Dickens resigned as editor. However, he was determined to create a means where he could communicate his ideas on social reform and in 1850 he began editing Household Words. The weekly journal included articles on politics, science and history. To increase the number of people willing to buy Household Words, it also contained short stories and humorous pieces. By 1851 the twenty-four page Household Words was soon selling 40,000 copies a week. When Dickens’s argued with the publishers of Household Words in 1859, he closed the journal and replaced it with All the Year Round. The new journal still covered social issues but mainly concentrated on literary matters. Several important novels came out of the development of All the Year Round including Dickens’s own A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations, The journal also published three of Wilkie Collins’s novels, The Woman in White, No Name and The Moonstone. All of his success was shadowed by unhappiness. Charles Dickens began having a relationship with a young actress named Ellen Ternan, which led to his separation from his wife, Catherine in 1858, after the marriage had produced ten children. He suffered a fatal stroke on June 9, 1870, and was buried in Westminster Abbey five days later.
Charles Dickens was the greatest and most popular English Author of his time. He introduced a new way of writing realistic fiction stories. Dickens’s novels of modern life is shown in Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, show an amazing ability to create living characters. His graphic exposures of social evils and his powers of drawing cartoons and humor have made him very popular among the people of his day and ours. His novels have been read, translated and sold all around the world in his day and in ours. Some of his stories have been made into motion pictures. My favorite Christmas movie that I always look forward to see is A Christmas Carol. It was done by Walt Disney and was based on the novel of Charles Dickens. Many others were made into movies as well. Great Expectations, David Copperfield, It’s a Wonderful Life, Oliver, Oliver Twist, The Tale of Two Cities and Scrooge all became famous motion pictures base on Charles Dickens’s novels. Many authors learned from the way he wrote and became popular authors. At the same time it influenced the publishing industry in Great Britain. This method of publication quickly became popular among Dickens’s generation.
Charles Dickens has done so much for literature all over the world. The interest in Dickens today takes many forms. His popularity has never,he is always in print and is being read. His novels are made into films and television adaptations, the Internet is full of Dickens, and so is the academic world. Surely no English Author is so well known and so widely read. Although He himself was a somewhat cold, self-centered man, he attacked the mid 19th century injustices against the men, women, and children of the working class. His personal life grew increasingly unhappy. He lived a pretty rough life. He went from poverty during his childhood and rose to fame as an adult. The life of this man is very interesting and if anyone deserves to have a book written about them, it is Charles Dickens.
I admire Charles Dickens for many of the things he went through in his long and great life. When Charles Dickens was 12 his dad was put in jail and he had to work to provide food for his family. It wasn’t easy work either. He had to worked in a shoe polishing company called “Warren’s Blacking Factory”. He work 15 hours a day with no breaks except lunch. In 1842 he lectured in the United States in favor of an international copyright agreement and in opposition to slavery. He argued with men who were advocates of slavery. He said that slavery must be abolished. Charles Dickens’s activities also included managing a theatrical company that played before Queen Victoria in 1851 and giving public readings of his own works in England and America. When he would write a book a reviewer would read it and tell people if its good or not good. The reviewers told him that his book was horrible. Charles Dickens worked hard on the novel to make it better, it ended up selling many and was one of his bests. Charles Dickens’s was extremely hostile to the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and wrote several articles on the workhouse system. He was also concerned with public health and the reform of the legal system. Dickens maintained his fame with a constant stream of novels. Charles Dickens was a man of enormous energy and wide talents, he also engaged in many other activities. He edited the weekly periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round, made books for traveling, American Notes and Pictures from Italy, generous organizations, and pressed for many social reforms. When his health was getting bad in his elderly years he didn’t stop working and maintained his daily duties. I really admire how Charles Dickens wasn’t afraid to tell people what he thinks about society and how he never gave up on stories after being told that they were no good. He also was not afraid to try new things like directing and staring in a play.
Charles Dickens’s affair with Ellen Lawless Ternan, lasted until his death is something I don’t admire. It led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after 22 years of being married and having 7 children. Also, I think that when Charles tried directing and staring in a play that he should have written the play himself instead of using someone else. It was an excellent idea and a success to direct a play, but I think it would have been better if he wrote it himself. There’s not much that I don’t admire about Charles Dickens, he was a great author as well as a man.
Charles Dickens by Charles Haines was well written and full of facts. Each fact was explained very well. By reading this I learned that hard work really does pay off. Just like when some of Charles Dickens’s novels had bad reviews he would work hard on it to make it better. Some of those books became his best novels. I also learned that when you disagree on something don’t be afraid to give your opinion. Charles Dickens wasn’t afraid to give his opinion on copyright issues in America. After he argued about the problem he gained copyright for the books sold in America. The only thing that I didn’t understand about this book was how the author said that Charles was a self-centered man but he argued to try to abolish slavery and gave some of his earning from book writing to charities. That doesn’t sound self-centered to me. Everything else about it was outstanding and I learned a lot.
Charles Dickens went through a lot of rough times in his life and ended up on top. He came from being a normal middle class citizen to being one of the most popular people in the world. His books have been read, translated and made into motion pictures. They have been read and watched by people for years and will still be in years to come. Charles Dickens’s personal life grew increasingly unhappy and drove him to an early death. But His work remains, funny, sad, warm, and stunning.