About my favourite
Charles Dickens was an English novelist and one of the
most popular writers in the history of literature. In
his enormous body of works, Dickens combined masterly
storytelling, humour, pathos, and irony with sharp
social criticism and acute observation of people and
places, both real and imagined.
Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth and
spent most of his childhood in London and Kent, both of
which appear frequently in his novels. He started school
at the age of nine, but his education was interrupted
when his father was imprisoned for debt in 1824. The boy
was then forced to support himself by working in a
shoe-polish factory. From 1824 to 1826, Dickens again
attended school. For the most part, however, he was
self-educated. Among his favourite books were those by
such great 18th-century novelists as Henry Fielding and
Tobias Smollett, and their influence can be discerned in
Dickens's own novels. In 1827 Dickens took a job as a
In December 1833 Dickens published the first of a series
of original descriptive sketches of daily life in
London, using the pseudonym Boz. The success of this
first novel The Pickwick Papers made Dickens famous.
Dickens subsequently maintained his fame with a constant
stream of novels. A man of enormous energy and wide
talents, he also engaged in many other activities. He
edited the weekly periodicals Household Words
(1850-1859) and All the Year Round (1859-1870), composed
the travel books American Notes (1842) and Pictures from
Italy (1846), administered charitable organisations, and
pressed for many social reforms. In 1843 he published A
Christmas Carol, an ever-popular children's story.
Incompatibility and Dickens's relations with a young
actress, Ellen Ternan, led to his separation from his
wife in 1858, after the marriage had produced ten
children. He suffered a fatal stroke on June 9, 1870,
and was buried in Westminster Abbey five days later.
He made a valuable
contribution to world literature, he wrote “The Pickwick
Papers”, “Bleak House”, “Oliver Twist”, “Dombey and Son”
and other novels and stories.