Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812 - 1870) MP

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Birthplace: Landport, Portsmouth, England
Death: Died in Higham, Kent, England
Managed by: Natalie
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About Charles John Huffam Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens, pen-name "Boz", was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature's most iconic characters, with the theme of social reform running throughout his work. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print.

Much of his work first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialised form, a popular way of publishing fiction at the time. Other writers would complete entire novels before serial publication commenced, but Dickens often wrote his in parts, in the order they were meant to appear. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one "cliffhanger" after another, to keep the public eager for the next installment.

His work has been praised for its mastery of prose, and for its teeming gallery of unique personalities, by writers such as George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton, though the same characteristics have prompted others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, to criticize him for sentimentality and implausibility.

NOTABLE WORKS

Curiosity Shop

Oliver Twist

Nicholas Nickleby

Barnaby Rudge

A Christmas Carol

Martin Chuzzlewit

A Tale of Two Cities

David Copperfield

Great Expectations

Bleak House

Little Dorrit

Hard Times

Our Mutual Friend

The Pickwick Papers

For a complete list of his work, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliography_of_Charles_Dickens. --------------------

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  • Charles John Huffam Dickens (play /ˈtʃɑrlz ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic who is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters.[1] During his lifetime Dickens's works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was fully recognized by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to enjoy an enduring popularity among the general reading public.[2][3]
  • Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into debtors' prison. Though he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. He edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.
  • Dickens rocketed to fame with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, celebrated for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication.[4][5] The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback.[5] For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens went on to improve the character with positive lineaments.[6] Fagin in Oliver Twist apparently mirrors the famous fence, Ikey Solomon;[7] His caricature of Leigh Hunt in the figure of Mr Skimpole in Bleak House was likewise toned down on advice from some of his friends, as they read episodes.[8] In the same novel, both Lawrence Boythorne and Mooney the beadle are drawn from real life – Boythorne from Walter Savage Landor and Mooney from 'Looney', a beadle at Salisbury Square.[9] His plots were carefully constructed, and Dickens often wove in elements from topical events into his narratives.[10] Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.[11]
  • Dickens was regarded as the 'literary colossus' of his age.[12] His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, is one of the most influential works ever written, and it remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. His creative genius has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to G. K. Chesterton and George Orwell—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism.
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Charles Dickens's Timeline

1812
February 7, 1812
Landport, Portsmouth, England
March 4, 1812
Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
1836
April 2, 1836
Age 24
St. Luke's Catholic Church
1837
January 6, 1837
Age 24
1838
March 6, 1838
Age 26
London, England
1839
October 29, 1839
Age 27
1841
February 8, 1841
Age 29
1844
January 15, 1844
Age 31
1845
October 28, 1845
Age 33
1847
April 18, 1847
Age 35