About Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the iconic story-tellers and writers in history. With popular stories like A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens literary work is truly outstanding. Charles John Huffam Dickens is his complete name as he was born on Fenruary 7, 1812. Among all English writers, he is ranked as one of the most popular for his iconic characters and ability to tell impressive and engaging stories.

The themes found in Charles Dickens novels generally focused on social reform. What made his stories stand out from so many others is his ability to add cliffhangers to them along with a certain rhythm which kept his readers engaged and interested in the works that he wrote. Because of the way in which Dickens was able to tell stories, his novels remain popular today and they have never gone out of print. This is an incredible feat for any author but for one that wrote these stories almost 200 years ago is very impressive and phenomenal.

Dickens lived in Portsmouth, Hampshire until he was 3 and then they moved to London where Dickens spent the majority of his life. He had vivid memories of his childhood and the way in which he grew up, which allowed him to take personal experiences and place them into his novels. He felt he was a very small boy and spent much of his time reading and the other in the outdoors. All of the memories he was able to build allowed him to bring in very minute details to his stories. His father, John Dickens was a clerk in the Navy for a time and used his money to afford a nice education for his son where Charles Dickens was able to attend William Giles’s School in Chatham. However John Dickens was imprisoned because he was in great amounts of debt and his entire family left to be with him in Marshalsea. Charles Dickens opted to stay in Camden Town with a family friend, Emily Roylance. Mrs. Roylance was a great influence on the life of Charles Dickens and he often used her as a personality and character in many of his works like as Mrs. Pipchin in Dombey and Son.

Charles Dickens sister was named Fanny and they were quite close and they would spend every Sunday together. As Dickens grew up he took on the role of helping to financially support his family. He worked at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse up to 10 hours a day. He would also polish shoes in order to help pay for the needs of his family. Because of the hard work that Dickens endured, he was able to use his own experiences in writing such as showing how unfairly the poor were treated in society and how hard people had to work just to afford a family.

Upon the death of his grandmother, Charles Dickens father was released from prison thanks the inheritance she left him and Dickens family moved back to Marshalsea to live with Mrs. Roylance. The biggest problem Charles Dickens had was that his mother never asked for him to come back from the Wellington House Academy. His resentment toward his mother was shown forth in many of his works, most notably in his novel David Copperfield.

As Dickens continued to work hard and to write novels he eventually fell in love in 1830. He fell for a young woman, Maria Beadnell but her parents did not approve of Dickens and they shipped her to Paris to attend school and it ended his love affair. Dickens was able to have his work published in periodicals and sketches and some journals. His greatest success came when he published Oliver Twist in the years of 1837 to 1839.

In 1836 Dickens married Catherine Thomson Hogarth and they had 10 children together. Their home was in Bloombury and he was able to write many impressive works throughout their marriage. Dickens was able to visit America in 1842 and he was able to raise support for copyright laws and other things. Dickens continued to write many successful novels throughout his life. The story A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 and Dickens wrote it as a way to make quick money for his family. Dickens never could of predicted the immense popularity of this story and the fact that it has never been out of print.


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "About Charles Dickens." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/408/about-charles-dickens/ >.

Learn more with these Charles Dickens websites.



Great Expectations
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens
(Paperback)
- Usually ships in 24 hours
Price: $4.99

David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)
David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)
by Charles Dickens
(Paperback)
- Usually ships in 24 hours
Price: $4.00

A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions)
A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions)
by Charles Dickens
(Paperback)
- Usually ships in 24 hours
Price: $2.23

  • Just a Random Person

    Is that an image of Edger Allan Poe instead of Charles Dickens?

    • http://www.barbarafeldman.com/ Barbara Feldman

      You are so right! I’ve fixed it now.