Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987. Pearson, Hesketh. Dickens, His Character, Comedy, and Career. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1949. Priestley, J.B. Charles Dickens and His World.
Many of his novels such as Oliver Twist and Philip Pirrip express the struggles he faced growing up. At a very young age he became a student of, “The School of Hard Knocks.” The idyllic days of childhood were over and he was rudely introduced to the world of the working poor (Merriman). From 1824 to 1827 Charles studied at the Wellington House Academy in London (Bloom, Bloom's Classics Critical Views: Charles Dickens). For a year after he was removed from school, Dickens worked in a law office as a solicitor’s clerk. Soon thereafter in 1929, he became employed a free lance reporter.
John Dickens, his father, was formerly a clerk in the Naval Pay Office (victorianweb.org). John did not have a talent for finances, and as a result, in 1824 found himself imprisoned for debt (victorianweb.org). His wife and children joined him in the Marshalsea Prison when she could no longer support her children (library.thinkquest.org). Charles was the exception, he was sent to work at Warren's Blacking Factory (victorianweb.org). Charles worked as a label-paster, with co-workers of the lowest type (library.thinkquest.org).
Charles Dickens was an astounding author and titan of English literature throughout the Victorian era. Dickens was remarkably known for his early years, his career, and his life tragedies. During his career Dickens achieved worldwide popularity, winning acclaim for his rich storytelling and memorable characters. Dickens will forever be remembered as a literary genius who changed the world with his vivid novels and his superb stories. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in the Mile End Terrace in Portsmouth England (Sahlman 1).
Dickens’ felt abandoned and betrayed by the adults who were supposed to take care of him. These sentiments would later become a theme in his writing. Dickens was able to go back to school when his father received an inheritance and paid off his debts. At the time, he went to Wellington House Academy in London for nearly three years. In 1827, Dickens had to drop out of school again when he was just 15 to contribute to his family’s income.
According to bio.com, upon his father’s return, Dickens was able to go back to school. Although his father returned to work, Dickens dropped out of school again at the age of fifteen to work in an office (1). It was in this office that Dickens began his career in writing. While successfully reporting for multiple London newspapers in 1833, he continually submitted sketches into numerous magazines under the name Boz. In 1836, his sketches were compiled into Sketches by Boz, Dickens’ first published work (“Charles Dickens” 1).
Biographical Summary Charles Dickens is one of the most influential writers in history and was “born in Landport, now part of Portsmouth, on February 7th, 1812”(Priestly 5). Despite being the successful writer that he was in life, Dickens had very humble beginnings and because his Father, John Huffman Dickens, “lacked the money to support his family adequetly” , Dickens lived in poverty through out most of his childhood (Collins). Matters only got worse, however, when Dickens’s Father had to “spen[d] time in prison for debt” causing Dickens to have to “work in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish” (Collins). It was a horrible experience for him, but it also helped him to no doubt feel pity for the poor, which is prominent in his novel Oliver Twist with his sympathizing with the down trod characters in their sad conditions and the mocking of the people and rules that put them there. It should also be noted that in Oliver Twist most of the poor characters that the reader is supposed to sympathize with are young boys, such as the character Oliver Twist and young Dick, which demonstrates how most experiences and events that Dickens characters go through are very similar to his own, making his writing seem more real and genuine at times.
"A Tale of Two Cities." Dickens and the Twentieth Century. Ed. John Gross and Gabriel Pearson. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962.