Charles Dickens Biography

Activities Author , Screenwriter , Characters created by
Nationality Great Britain
Birth February 7, 1812 (Hampshire, England)
Death June 9, 1870


Charles Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was imprisoned in a debtor’s prison. His literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he became an international literary celebrity, famous for his humor, satire, and keen observation of character and society. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly newspaper for twenty years, wrote fifteen novels, five novelles, hundreds of short stories and nonfiction articles, lectured and read extensively. He was a tireless letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children’s rights, education and other social reforms. His 1843 novelle A Christmas Carol remains especially popular and continues to inspire adaptations in all artistic genres. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, the latter being brought to the big screen by Mexican Alfonso Cuarón in 1998. His 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is considered by many to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century, critics and scholars recognized him as a literary genius.

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