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.

EARLY 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

MIDDLE LIFE

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. 7

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

LATER LIFE

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