English novelist Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812 - 1870) not only achieved fame in his lifetime, but continues to be popular to this day. He is known for his iconic characters, such as Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and for his portrayal of Victorian London, as if the city was another character in his stories.
Yup, you read that correctly. BBC presents a delightful animated introduction to Charles Dickens' life. In addition to the video, there is a multimedia version, called Scene Selector, an annotated slide show with hotspots for the discovery of additional material about Dickens life and work. For more Dickens fun, follow the Play the Game link to Survive Dickens' London. "Dodge through Victorian London, avoiding the gangs and villains and trials and tribulations of Dickensian London in order to seek out Charles Dickens in his chalet hideaway in Rochester."
David Perdue's fan page is dedicated to enhancing "the reader's experience, providing background on Dickens, his work, and the times in which he lived." And, he's successful on all counts! Visit for Dickens Fast Facts, summaries of each of his novels, a cross-linked list of 400 Dickens characters, a look at Dickens' London, a timeline, and a glossary that defines terms from Victorian English that you probably don't not know. "Blacking -- shoe or boot polish. As a child Dickens was employed at Warren's Blacking factory."
The Victorian Web is a compilation of literature resources from Brown University. The Dickens section contains several hyperlinked biographies as well as critical reviews of biographies written in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The links allow you to dive deeper into the material, to learn, for example, about the role that child labor played in the Industrial Revolution. Literature students will appreciate the sections on themes, genre, characterization, imagery, and the political and social history of Dickens' times.
PBS Dickens (online companion to the 2003 three-part television series) covers both his life and career with essays by Joel J. Brattin, Professor of English at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This attractive site includes illustrations from some of Dickens first editions, and reproductions from his original serial publications. "Dickens' first novel, the brilliantly comic THE PICKWICK PAPERS, brought him enormous fame. Like all his subsequent novels, it was originally published serially, that is, in installments or parts over time. He not only published serially but wrote serially too, planning each installment carefully."