Biography Of Charles Dickens -

Biography Of Charles Dickens

Biography Of Charles Dickens


Charles Dickens 

(1812- 1870 ) Victorian novelist who created one of the most famous characters in English Literature, while also critiquing the worst exaggerations and sexism of Victorian society. The novels included Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield.

Life in the early years

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812, the son of John as well as Elizabeth Dickens.

When he was a kid, Charles experienced the fickle fate of fate. He was initially taught at an exclusive school but was later exiled due to his family’s financial struggles.


In reality, his father’s debts were so huge that his entire family (apart from the child Charles was taken to the debtor’s jail at Marshalsea which was later to be the location for his novel called The Little Dorrit). But, even though Charles was able to escape detention within the debtors’ prison the prisoner was forced to work for long, 10- hours per day, in the local boot-blacking plant. The arduous and hazardous job left a lasting impression on Charles Dickens, who would later in his writings an awareness of the social injustice that was prevalent within Victorian Britain.

“I did not receive any advice, counsel nor encouragement, not a single consolation, not even or support in any way from anyone I could think of when I want to be able to go into heaven!” – from David Copperfield.

Charles was able to escape the rigors of working in factories through training to become a shorthand writer, and then securing the job of a journalist covering court cases.

The year was 1833 when he began his career as an editor for the parliamentary newspaper Morning Chronicle. Young Dickens was fascinated by parliament’s Houses even though they often left him with an unflattering impression of MPs. After a while was over, he wrote his very first serialized stories which were published under the pseudonym Boz.

Biography Of Charles Dickens


Biography Of Charles Dickens


The year 1836 was the time he got married to Catherine Hogarth and also in the same year, he was able to witness the debut of the book ‘ The Pickwick Papers.’ His first book was a huge-selling book, and it led him to go on to become a full-time author.

In addition to writing famous novels, Charles Dickens took great attention to the societal issues that were prevalent at the time. He toured Europe as well as his native United States speaking against slavery as well as the many social injustices he witnessed. He even started his newspaper, The Daily News. The first edition was published by the paper:

“The principles portrayed within The Daily News will be the principles of improvement and progress in education as well as religious and civil liberty and equal legislation. Principal, for example, its leaders believe that the evolving modern times require that the current state of the nation demands fairness, rationality, and experience have the right to sanction.”

The Daily News (21st January 1846)

Charles Dickens is one of the most well-known authors in English. Particularly, his works are full of vibrant and eccentric characters that make an indelible impression. This was achieved through his vivid memories of many people he encountered throughout his life and also added an element of imagination and exaggeration through his vivid descriptions.

Many themes are prevalent throughout his writings, which usually reflect a certain degree of autobiography. Dickens was a fan of the ‘rags-to-rich stories as illustrated through Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. He often criticized the most egregious vices that were prevalent in Victorian society. He also made a compelling case for a more loving and moral society.

For his rants against injustice in society, Dickens was considered a “Radical” of his day. In a later piece written by socialist George Orwell, Orwell questioned his inability to find alternatives:

“In Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Dickens attacked English institutions with a fierceness that was never taken seriously. He did this without being a target for ridicule and, even more, it has made him an institution in the nation… Dickens seems to have been successful in sabotaging everyone and provoking no one. Naturally, one has to ask whether there was something untrue in his attack on society.”

– George Orwell, Charles Dickens 1939

Charles Dickens had ten children with his wife, however later, he separated from her and was able to end his life with his lover Ellen Ternan. At the same time, towards the end of his life in June 1865, he was involved in a tragic Staplehurst railway crash, in which he was able to avoid injuries.

Dickens wrote a book on Jesus Christ The Life of Our Lord (1849) in which he enthuses others to embrace his Christian faith. He declared himself to be a practicing Christian within the Anglican faith (with an affinity for his own Unitarian Church). But, he might be a critic of organized religious beliefs and opposed to the notion that the Sabbath should be used only to attend church.


Biography Of Charles Dickens


Dickens was an eminent charitable philanthropist who helped raise money for charitable causes, like Great Ormond Street. He also helped set up an institution for ‘fallen women. The focus was on providing women in need with a chance to learn and a way to make themselves more acceptable in society’s eyes. The concept of redemption was a major part of Dicken’s philosophy. He often criticized severe and punitive punishments, like solitary confinement.

Dickens died on the 8th of June 1870 following an attack on the brain. He was writing a novel called ‘Edwin Drood’. He had wanted to be buried in Rochester Cathedral simply and privately, however contrary to his wishes, he was interred in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.

The epitaph of his funeral was read:

“To the memory of Charles Dickens (England’s most popular writer) who passed away at his home in Higham close to Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58. He was a friend of the poor, the hurting and oppressed and, with his passing one of England’s most acclaimed writers have been lost to the world.”

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