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Meet Charles Dickens
Transcript of Meet Charles Dickens
Dickens Charles Dickens was a Victorian author.
He was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
His parents were John and Elizabeth Dickens. When his father received an inheritance and was able to repay his debts, Charles went back to school. But in 1827, at age fifteen, he was again forced leave school and work as an office boy. In the following year he became a freelance reporter and stenographer at the law courts of London. By 1832 he had become a reporter for two London newspapers.
In 1833 he began to send in impressions and sketches to other newspapers and magazines, signing some of them "Boz."
In 1836 as Sketches by Boz, his first book was published and he gained much success, during which married Catherine Hogarth. In 1865 Dickens was involved in the famed Staplehurst rail crash in which seven train carriages toppled off a bridge that was under repair.
Dickens narrowly avoided catastrophe as his own car was the first to be spared once the train finally stopped.
This event scarred him mentally. According to the New York Times, Dickens was on a train that derailed over a bridge, in the only first-class carriage that didn’t plummet into a river. He not only found the key that freed his friends, he went to the carriages below and gave water and brandy to those who needed it. Then, in a move that can only be called “bad a**,” the ailing 53-year-old “climbed back into the dangling carriage and retrieved from the pocket of his coat the installment of Our Mutual Friend that he had just completed and was taking to his publishers.” The reason he was never publicly lauded for his actions? He was making sure that the public didn't know that he was traveling with his mistress. MARRIAGES:
Catherine (Hogarth) Dickens (1815-1879) : married April 2, 1836 in St. Luke's Church, Chelsea : Separated 1858 CHILDREN:
Charles Culliford (Charley) Dickens (1837-1896)
Mary (Mamie) Dickens (1838-1896)
Kate Macready (Katie) Dickens (1839-1929)
Walter Savage Landor Dickens (1841-1863)
Francis Jeffrey (Frank) Dickens (1844-1886)
Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912)
Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872)
Henry Fielding (Harry) Dickens (1849-1933)
Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851)
Edward Bulwer Lytton (Plorn) Dickens (1852-1902) He gave his children nicknames, such as Skittles and Plorn. In 1846 Dickens co-founded Urania Cottage.
This was a home for the redemption of “fallen” women, where accepted candidates were encouraged to re-integrate into society.
To do this, they often learned skills, which often included domestic tasks. During this time women had few options to support themselves and their families.
One option was prostitution. This was a fairly popular crime, but one that was met with dire consequences such as severe punishments.
After an appeal from heiress Angela Coutts, Charles Dickens helped create “Urania House” where these women could learn to read and write, as well keep house. Dickens searched prisons and workhouses for potential candidates and interviewed them personally. He even established the house rules. Approximately 100 women “graduated” from Urania House. He probably had obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) He reportedly always re-arranging his hotel furniture and having to sleep with his head pointing north. Charles Dickens died on Thursday, June 9, 1870
of a stroke. His place of burial is Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, in London. Dickens’ story The Signal Man is partly derived from personal experience. Subsequently, this 53-year-old "climbed back into the dangling carriage and retrieved from the pocket of his coat the installment of Our Mutual Friend that he had just completed and was taking to his publishers." When John and Elizabeth married, the newly-married pair lived quite comfortably on John's modest salary. Later on, as the total of eight children were born, the family situation soon became critical. John Dickens found himself deeply in debt, and the family had to pawn and then sell their household belongings. The young Charles Dickens was forced to part with the books his father had bought him - classics such as Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, The Vicar of Wakefield and Tom Jones. Later in 1824, John Dickens was sent to the famous Marshalsea debtors' prison, being joined by his wife and younger children with the exception of the eldest child, Fanny, and Charles, who was employed at Warren's Blacking Factory and cared for by the distant relative who owned the establishment. In contrast to his father, Charles could not adapt smoothly to his new way of life. "No words," he later wrote, "can express the secret agony of my soul as I sunk into this companionship, compared these everyday associates with those of my happier childhood; and felt my early hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man, crushed in my breast."