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Author's Background

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       Dickens was born on February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth, England to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Early in his life, Charles was faced with great trials tribulations. When Charles reached the age of twelve, his father was imprisoned for being unable to pay his debts. He was sent to Marshalsea debtor’s prison and took along with him his wife and six youngest children. Therefore, Charles was forced to drop out of school and work ten hours daily in a boot blackening factory to support himself and help pay off the debt. After a few years his father was released, but his mother still made him work in the factory to continue to help support the family. A little while later, he quit his boot blackening job and attended school until he was hired as a law clerk. He then quit that job and became a court reporter, and after that job he became a journalist. This is when he first began his writing career. These experiences early in his life became the inspiration for many of great novels especially David Copperfield which is known as a veiled autobiography.
 Dickens’s first works were simply sketches about English life at that time period, and a collection of these sketches was made in 1836 entitled Sketches By Boz (Boz was his pseudonym at that time). Shortly thereafter, he published his first novel The Pitwick Papers which began his fame. Dickens married a woman by the name of Catherine Hogarth to whom he eventually had ten children with, but after several long years their marriage ended when Dickens returned to an early love. During his marriage, his writing career did not provide Dickens with enough money to be able to support his large family, so he went on a lecture tour of the United States in 1842. On his lecture tour he actively spoke out against slavery and tried to establish international copyright laws to help him and other writers. Dickens always stood up for the unfortunate people and in his novels spoke out against child labor, living and working conditions of the poor, education denied to the poor, debtor’s prisons, and class discrimination. Dickens is often considered responsible for the shutting down of the Marshalsea and Fleet Prisons through his novels. Although he tried to help people in these conditions he was often criticized for portraying women in his novels as “innocents or “grotesques.” During his lecture tours he also gave readings from his favorite works and was said to have great emotion and drama when he read. The stress from his tours was said to be the cause of his slow decline in his health. Dickens eventually died at Gad’s Hill in Kent, England on June 9, 1870. During his lifetime Dickens, wrote over fifteen novels, over twenty short stories, and was in the process of writing a novel when he died. It was said that Dickens put a great deal of research into all of his works and would spend days researching before writing scenes of his books. He was well renowned and liked throughout England and the world ever since the early days of his career. In England, none of Dickens’s books have ever gone out of print since their initial publication. He created a new style of writing that still has not been matched. Dickens novels will continue to best selling for many years, for readers will always love to hear the classic adventures of the exciting characters developed by Charles Dickens.

 

 

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