Charles Dickens

Word Count: 1013

INTRODUCTION 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 enable the poor to prove to Australia. 11 Then
about 1865 his health started to decline and he died of a
stroke on June 9, 1870. 12 Dicken\'s Work The Great