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About Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a famous English novelist, popular for his memorable characters and his portrayals of the social evils of Victorian England.

In 1836 he published the first number of the Pickwick Papers, followed by Oliver Twist in 1838, the first of his 'reforming' novels; Nicholas Nicklehy in 1839; Bamahy Rudge in 1840; The Old Curiosity Shop in 1841; and David Copperfield in 1849. Among his later books are A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 and Great Expectations in 1861, and Our Mutual Friend in 1864.

Born in Portsea, Hampshire, the son of a clerk, Dickens received little formal education, although a short period spent working in a blacking factory in South London, while his father was imprisoned for debt in the Marshal sea prison during 1824, was followed by three year s in a private school.

In 1827 he became a lawyer's clerk, and then after four years a reporter for the Morning Chronicle, to which he contributed the Sketches by Boz. In 1836 he married Katherine Hogarth, three days after the publication of the first number of the Pickwick Papers. Originally intended merely as an accompaniment to a series of sporting illustrations, the adventures of Pickwick outgrew their setting and established Dickens' reputation.

In 1842 he visited the USA, where his attack on the pirating of English books by US publishers chilled his welcome; his experiences are reflected in American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit in 1843.

In 1843 he published the first of his Christmas books, A Christmas Carol, followed in 1844 by The Chimes, written in Genoa during his first long sojourn abroad, and in 1845 by the even more successful Cricket on the Hearth. A venture as editor of the Liberal Daily News in 1846 was shortlived, and Dombey and Son in 1848 was largely written abroad. David Copperfield, his most popular novel, appeared in 1849, and contains many autobiographical incidents and characters.

Returning to journalism, Dickens inaugurated the weekly magazine Household Words 1850, reorganizing it 1859 as All the Year Round; many of his later stories were published serially in these periodicals.

In 1856 he agreed with his wife on a separation; his sister-in-law remained with him to care for his children, while Dickens formed an association with the actress Ellen Ternan.

In 1858 he began making public readings from his novels, which proved such a success that he was invited to make a second US tour in 1867. Among his later novels are Bleak House in 1853, Hard Times in 1854, Little Dorrit in 1857, and Our Mutual Friend in 1864. Edwin Drood, a mystery story influenced by the style of his friend Wilkie Collins, was left incomplete on his death.


Tags: novelist, writer, journalism, influence



Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 05 January '12


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