Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Ports Mouth, Hampshire. In his infancy his family moved to Chatham, where he spent his happiest years and often refers to this time in his novels (1817-1822). From 1822 to 1860 he lived in London, after which he permanently moved to a quiet country cottage in Glads Hill, on the outskirts of Chatham. He grew up in a middle class family. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office and was well paid, but his extravagant living style often brought the family to financial disaster. The family reached financial "rock bottom" in 1824. Charles was taken out of school and sent to work in a factory doing manual labour, while his father went to prison for his debt. These internal disasters shocked Charles greatly. He refers to his working experiences in his writings. Although he hated doing labour, he gained a sympathetic knowledge into the life of the labour class. He also brings forth the images of prison and of the lost and oppressed child in many novels. His schooling ended at 15, and he became a clerk in a solicitor's office, then a short hand reporter in the lawcourts (where he gained much knowledge of legalities which he used in his novels), and finally like other members of his family, a newspaper reporter. Here, he got his first taste of journalism and fell in love with it immediately. Drawn to the theatre, Charles Dickens almost pursued the career of an actor In 1833, he began sending short stories and descriptive essays to small magazines and newspapers. These writings attracted attention and were published in 1836 under the name, Sketches by "Boz". At the same time, he was offered a small job of writing... ... middle of paper ... ...ech, "From these garish lights I vanish now for evermore...". Charles dickens died suddenly at Gad's Hill on June 9, 1870, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. People all over the world mourned the loss of "a friend" as well as a great entertainer and creative artist, and one of the acknowledged influences upon the spirit of the age. Charles Dickens is regarded as the greatest English novelist. He had a wider popularity than any other author before him or during his life time. His works appealed to everyone, a peasant, or the Queen of England. This, and the quality of his work enabled his fame to spread world wide. His popularity has never ceased, and he is as popular today, as he ever was. His compassion and intelligence enriched his novels and made him one of the great forces in 19th century literature, an influential conscience of his age.

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