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Charles Dickens Biography

Writers | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Interactive

Who was Charles Dickens?

Charles Dickens, the renowned British author was born in Portsmouth, located on the southern coast of England (February 7, 1812). His father John Dickens was a naval clerk. Dickens’ mother name was Elizabeth Barrow. He was the second child of his parents and had seven siblings. He married Catherine Hogarth also known as Kate. He had ten children. Later, in 1858 they were separated. Dickens had a stroke and he died at the age of 58 (June 9, 1870), leaving his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished.

The Life of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens belonged to a financially weak family. From young age, his education was greatly hampered due to the poor financial condition of his family. His father was imprisoned in the year 1824 for unpaid debts. He had to discontinue his studies at the age of 12. He began to work in a boot – blacking factory and earned six shillings a week. This is how he provided financial support to his family.

Charles Dickens – The Author

He began to work as a freelance reporter at the law courts of London. Few years later he started working for two major newspapers in London. In 1833, he submitted several sketches to different magazines and newspapers under the pen name “Boz.” His clippings were published in his first book titled Sketches by Boz in 1836. In the same year, he began to publish The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. He also published a magazine named Bentley’s Miscellany. Then; in 1842, Dickens and his wife Kate went on a lecture tour in the United States for a period of five months. After returning home, Dickens wrote a sarcastic travelogue titled American Notes for General Circulation. In it he strongly criticised American culture and materialism.

List of Works by Charles Dickens

  • Oliver Twist
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Barnaby Rudge
  • David Copperfield
  • The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Great Expectations
  • Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son.
  • Bleak House
  • Hard Times
  • Little Dorrit
  • Our Mutual Friend

Apart from the novels, there are several short stories written by Charles Dickens.

  • The Haunted House
  • A House to let
  • The Long Voyage
  • A Message from the Sea
  • Mugby Junction
  • The Signal-Man

9 Famous Quotes by Charles Dickens

  1. Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine. (Oliver Twist)
  2. There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. (Oliver Twist)
  3. Grief never mended no broken bones (Sketches by Boz)
  4. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. ( A Tale of Two Cities)
  5. We lawyers are always curious, always inquisitive, always picking up odds and ends for our patchwork minds, since there is no knowing when and where they may fit into some corner. (Little Dorrit)
  6. Consider nothing impossible, then treat possiblities as probabilities. (David Copperfield)
  7. The things that never happen, are often as much realities to us, in their effects, as those that are accomplished. ( David Copperfield)
  8. I’ll tell you … what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter – as I did! (Great Expectation)
  9. I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.( A Christmas Carol)