Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens


This report will talk about the life of
a famous author, Charles Dickens. It will tell you about his early, middle,
and later years of his life. It will also talk about one of his great works
of literature. In conclusion, this report will show a comparison of his
work to his life.


Charles Dickens was born at Landport,
in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay-Office,
and was temporarily on duty in the neighborhood when Charles was born.

His name was John Dickens. He spent time in prison for debts. But, even
when he was free he lacked the money to support his family. Then, when

Charles was two they moved to London.1

Just before he started to toddle, he stepped
into the glare of footlights. He never stepped out of it until he died.

He was a good man, as men go in the bewildering world of ours, brave, transparent,
tender-hearted, and honorable. Dickens was always a little too irritable
because he was a little too happy. Like the over-wrought child in society,
he was splendidly sociable, and in and yet sometimes quarrelsome. In all
the practical relations of his life he was what the child is at a party,
genuinely delighted, delightful, affectionate and happy, and in some strange
way fundamentally sad and dangerously close to tears. 2

At the age of 12 Charles worked in a London
factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish. He held the job only
for a few months, but the misery of the experience remain with him all
his life. 3

Dickens attended school off and on until
he was 15, and then left for good. He enjoyed reading and was especially
fond of adventure stories, fairy tales, and novels. He was influenced by
such earlier English writers as William Shakespeare, Tobias Smollet, and

Henry Fielding. However, most of the knowledge he later used as an author
came from his environment around him. 4


Dickens became a newspaper writer and
reporter in the late 1820\'s. He specialized in covering debates in Parliament,
and also wrote feature articles. His work as a reporter sharpened his naturally
keen ear for conversation and helped develop his skill in portraying his
characters speach realistically. It also increased his ability to observe
and to write swiftly and clearly. Dickens\' first book, Sketches by Boz
(1836) consisted of articles he wrote for the Monthly Magazine and the

London Evening Chronicles.5

On April 2, 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth.

This was just a few days before the anoucement that on the 31st he would
have his first work printed in The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.

And this was the beginning of his career. 6

Then, at 24, Dickens became famous and
was so until he died. He won his first literary fame with The Posthumous

Papers of the Pickwick Club. Published in monthly parts in 1836 and 1837
the book describes the humorous adventure and misadventures of the English

Countryside. After a slow start, The Pickwick Papers as the book was usually
called gained a popularity seldom matched in the history of literature.


Then in 1837, Catherine\'s sister Mary,
died. Because of her death Dickens\' suffered a lot of grief. This led some
scholars to believe that Dickens loved Mary more than Catherine. Catherine
was a good woman but she lacked intelligence. Dickens and Catherine had

10 children. Then later in 1858, the couple seperated. 8


His later years was basically consisting
of two main additions to his previous activites.

The first was a series of public readings
and lectures which he began giving it systematically. And second, he was
a successive editor. Dickens had been many things in his life; he was a
reporter , an actor, a conjurer, a poet, a lecturer, and a editor and he
enjoyed all of those things. 9

Dickens had a remarkable mental and physical
energy. He recorded all his activites in thousands of letter, many of which
made delightful readings. He spent much of his later life with crowded
social friends from arts and literature. He also went to the theater as
often as he could, cause he loved drama. Dickens also produced and acted
in small theaters to give public readings of his work.10

Besides doing all this after his retirement
he got involved in various charities . These charities included schools
for poor children and a loan society to enable the poor to prove to Australia.


Then about 1865 his health started to decline
and he died of a stroke on June 9, 1870. 12


His work of Great Expectation is very
related with his life.