Charles Dickens

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INTRODUCTION This report will talk about the life of a famous author, Charles Dickens. It will tell you about his early, middle, and later years of his life. It will also talk about one of his great works of literature. In conclusion, this report will show a comparison of his work to his life. EARLY LIFE Charles Dickens was born at Landport, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay-Office, and was temporarily on duty in the neighborhood when Charles was born. His name was John Dickens. He spent time in prison for debts. But, even when he was free he lacked the money to support his family. Then, when Charles was two they moved to London.1 Just before he started to toddle, he stepped into the glare of footlights. He never stepped out of it until he died. He was a good man, as men go in the bewildering world of ours, brave, transparent, tender-hearted, and honorable. Dickens was always a little too irritable because he was a little too happy. Like the over-wrought child in society, he was splendidly sociable, and in and yet sometimes quarrelsome. In all the practical relations of his life he was what the child is at a party, genuinely delighted, delightful, affectionate and happy, and in some strange way fundamentally sad and dangerously close to tears. 2 At the age of 12 Charles worked in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish. He held the job only for a few months, but the misery of the experience remain with him all his life. 3 Dickens attended school off and on until he was 15, and then left for good. He enjoyed reading and was especially fond of adventure stories, fairy tales, and novels. He was influenced by such earlier English writers as William Shakespeare, Tobias Smollet, and Henry Fielding. However, most of the knowledge he later used as an author came from his environment around him. 4 MIDDLE LIFE Dickens became a newspaper writer and reporter in the late 1820's. He specialized in covering debates in Parliament, and also wrote feature articles. His work as a reporter sharpened his naturally keen ear for conversation and helped develop his skill in portraying his characters speach realistically. It also increased his ability to observe and to write swiftly and clearly. Dickens' first book, Sketches by Boz (1836) consisted of articles he wrote for the Monthly Magazine and the London Evening Chronicles.

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