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Charles Dickens - A short Biograpgy
Transcript of Charles Dickens - A short Biograpgy
A brief Introduction
by Sherwan Thomas
Dickens' Adult Life
At 21, Charles Dickens worked as a parliamentary reporter, already possessing the ability to take down speeches word for word
In December, his first sketch, "A Dinner at Poplar Walk", was published in the
In February, "Sketches by Boz" came out in volume form
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth. He was the second oldest among 8 children.
At 24, he was invited to contribute "Sketches by Boz" for a series of sporting engravings to be published by the firm of Chapman and Hall; was offered £14/month
After artist Hablot Browne was hired, Dickens had gotten himself a raise, increased the proportion of the writing to the illustrations, and turned the project into "The Pickwick Papers"
Married Catherine Hogarth on April 2
He was first considered a celebrity when 'The Pickwick Papers" was published between March 1836 - November 1837
He wrote four dramatic items: "The Strange Gentleman", "The Village Coquettes", "Is She His Wife?" and "The Lamplighter"
On January 2, 1837, his first son, Charles Jr. was born
"Oliver Twist" was first published in February serially in
, which was later completed in April 1839
"Great Expectations" was completed in August
In November, he began writing "Our Mutual Friend"
Public reading expands to Paris
Between June 1855 and June 1857, he had bought two new houses and lived at Folkestone, Paris, Boulogne, and London
On March 6 1838, his oldest daughter, Mary "Mamie" Dickens was born
By the end of March, Dickens published his third Novel, "Nicholas Nickleby"
First book edition of "Oliver Twist" was published on November 9
In April, Dickens began to serialize "The Old Curiosity Shop"
Between April 20 and November 26, "A Tale of Two Cities" was published in Dickens' weekly journal,
All the Year Round
In December, "Great Expectations" was first published weekly in
All the Year Round
"Hard Times" was published between April 1 and August 12 in Dickens' magazine
On January 21, the first issues of the
was published; Dickens resigned on February 9
At the end of June,
Dickens began to write "Dombey and Son"
Traveled to Lausanne, then later, Paris
Finished writing "Dombey and Son" at the end of March
Between March 1852 and September 1853, "Bleak House" was published in monthly parts
"David Copperfield" was published between May 1849 - November 1850
Went abroad to America on January 2 to begin writing "American Notes"
In 1816, his family moved to Chatham, Kent.
In 1822, they moved again to Camden Town, a poor neighborhood in London. By then the family was struggling financially.
When he was 12 years old, his father was sent to prison for debt.
Following his father’s imprisonment, Dickens had to leave school to work at "Warren's Blacking Factory " alongside the River Thames. Dickens earned six shillings a week labeling pots of “blacking”. Dickens saw this as the moment he said goodbye to his youth, stating that he wondered “how [he] could be so easily cast away at such a young age.”
Dickens was allowed to go back to school when his father received a family inheritance and used it to pay off his debts.
His education was pulled out from under him once again when he was 15.
In 1827, he had to drop out of school and work as an office boy to contribute to his family’s income. The job became an early launching point for his writing career.
Met Angela Burdett-Coutts, the wealthiest woman in England besides the Queen; was Dickens' partner and agent in a wide range of charitable projects such as
On October 29 1839, his third child, Kate, was born
On February 8 1841, his fourth child, Walter, was born
Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol"
On January 15 1844, his fifth child, Francis, was born
Toured Italy, returned to London in December
On October 28 1845, his sixth child, Alfred, was born
On April 16 1847, his seventh child, Sydney, was born.
On January 16 1849, his eighth child, Henry, was born
On August 16 1850, his ninth child, Dora, was born
On March 18 1852, his tenth child, Edward, was born
Dickens left his wife and lived in Gads Hill Place until his death
Dickens worked as a reporter for the
Toured Italy with Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins
Started publicly reading
Embarked on a series of public readings in London from 1858 to 1861.
Experienced the Staplehurst rail crash on June 9
Health began to fail due to overworking
Public reading expands to England and Scotland
Continued public reading to Ireland despite the doctor's advice to stop to health conditions worsening
Started American reading tour on November 9
Finished American reading tour
Continued readings in England, Scotland, and Ireland
Showed symptoms of mild stroke
Began writing "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"
Dickens dies from a stroke in Gads Hills Place
June 9 1870
The Pickwick Papers
The period in which "The Pickwick Papers" was being published (1836-1837) was the first time Dickens became a household name; a huge milestone in his lifetime.
A Christmas Carol
The light touch Dickens uses convincedWilliam Makepeace Thackeray, Dickens' literary rival, that it was "a national benefit"
Considered an example of Dickens' best writing, and one of his most popular novellas
Credited with restoring festivity in the holiday in Britain and America
Has been adapted into film, stage, opera, etc.
Adored by modern critics
Angus Wilson identifies "Great Expectations" as the one novel that meets the criteria set by many people
Many argue that it is more "perfect" than his other works
Dickens' favourite novel, and perhaps his greatest
Through "David Copperfield", Dickens was praised for accurately protraying how it feels to be a child
The completion of this book added to Dickens' fame, selling well in volume form
Considered the quintessential Dickens novel; easiest to read, most appealing, and most frequently known for itself rather than through adaptions
Recognized as the most popular novel in England
Sold about 34,000 copies every number
Dickens profited by about £11,000
Sales were higher than "David Copperfield" by about 14,000 copies
Most Successful Books
The first English novel to do with orphans and have the child as the protagonist
Offered readers the view of life at the bottom of Victorian society, through the eyes of a child
Through "Oliver Twist", Dickens became the first Victorian novelist, the most important literary figure of his time
It has been the basis of several film and television adaptions, as well as musicals and the 1968 motion picture
A Biography On
The first monthly number sold fewer than 500 copies. The fourth number sold 4,000, the eleventh 14,000 and the last numbers around 40,000. It continued to be a success for the rest of Dickens' life and even after his death. By 1878, 1.6 million copies were sold in various editions.
Dickens met actress Ellan Ternan, who [some say] was his motivation for his future seperation from his wife
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English author. He wrote some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally recognized as the greatest literary figure of the Victorian era.