Charles Dickens (born 7 February 1812; died 9 June 1870)
Charles Dickens was popular English author during the Victorian era, responsible for writing various well-known stories including 'A Christmas Carol', 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations'.
Childhood: Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England but grew up in Bloomsbury and Chatham. His parents were John Dickens, a Navy Pay Office clerk, and Elizabeth Dickens. As a young child, he was always reading and briefly attended private schooling until his father, mother and younger siblings were forced into debtors' prison. He stayed with various family friends after that - who he even based future characters on - and got a job at a shoe blacking factory to help release his family. His family was released after his father received an inheritance sum from a late relative and Dickens later attended another school which he was less than fond of. He then became a junior clerk at a law firm and there learned shorthand to take on a job as a freelance reporter.
Literary career: Charles Dickens had his first story, 'A Dinner at Poplar Walk', published in London's 'Monthly Magazine' in 1833 while he was still working as a political reporter through which most of his journalism was published in the form of sketches called 'Sketches by Boz'. Publishers Chapman and Hall subsequently asked Dickens to provide text for Robert Seymour's original illustrations in a monthly letterpress. The result was his breakthrough story 'The Pickwick Papers'. In 1838, 'Oliver Twist' was published and became one of his most well-known works. 'Nicholas Nickleby', 'The Old Curiosity Shop' and 'Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty' soon followed as instalments in the Master Humphrey's Clock series. 1842 saw him travel over to America where he gave several lectures and campaigned against literature pirating. The following years saw him publish 'A Christmas Carol', 'The Chimes' and 'The Cricket on the Hearth'. Between 1846 and 1850, a significant turning point in his career occurred with the release of 'Dombey and Son' and 'David Copperfield'. In the 1850s, 'Bleak House', 'Hard Times' and 'Little Dorrit' were all written, which was also during a period of working alongside playwright Wilkie Collins. While working as an editor for Household Words and All the Year Round, he published the major successes, 'A Tale of Two Cities' and 'Great Expectations'.
Personal life: Charles Dickens married Catherine Thomson Hogarth in 1836, the daughter of the Evening Chronicle editor. They subsequently had ten children and lived in Bloomsbury. Soon, his brother Frederick and Catherine's sister Mary moved in and Charles formed a very strong bond with the latter who soon passed away. In 1851, he and his family moved into the famous Tavistock House. He separated from his wife in 1858 after falling for Ellen Ternan, one of the actresses in a play called 'The Frozen Deep'. Their scandalous relationship was detailed in Claire Tomalin's book 'The Invisible Woman', which was later adapted to the stage in 'Little Nell' and a 2013 film directed by Ralph Fiennes. In 1865, he was involved in a rail crash. He escaped injury but stayed with the wounded and the dying and attempted to help them before medical aid came. In 1846, he founded Urania Cottage; a temporary home for impoverished women which he ran for ten years. His later philanthropy included raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Dickens was a Christian but disliked the idea of Catholicism and evangelicalism. While writing his final novel 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood', Dickens, who had been ill for a long time, passed away following a stroke and he was buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey contrary to his wishes.
Face your inner Scrooge with these classics.
Of the many Christmas stories that are re-told every year from the Nativity to 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', there's one that strikes a chord in everyone regardless of faith or age. CHARLES DICKENS published 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843 just days before the big day, and since then the heartfelt moral behind it has remained strong.
Jim Carrey stars in 2009's 'A Christmas Carol'
It's all about a wealthy but unpleasant man named Ebenezer Scrooge who only has one thing to say about Christmas: 'Bah, Humbag!' If you weren't aware of the story (somehow), he is visited on Christmas Eve by four ghosts determined to show him the error of his ways so that he doesn't die a lonely and bitter old man. Understandably, it has inspired countless stage productions, TV adaptations and blockbusters - and here's just a few of the best.
Continue reading: A Christmas Carol: The Top 10 Best Re-Tellings From 'The Muppets' To 'The Musical'
Ralph Fiennes new film The Invisible Woman captures the secret love in Charles Dickens life.
With his first directing/acting roles in the William Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus; Ralph Fiennes now repeats his efforts with The Invisible Woman. The film's dual time-lined narrative explores Felicity Jones' character Nelly Ternen, the true tale of her past relationship with the most renowned writer of all time; CHARLES DICKENS.
The role of such a literary giant is one that even the most experienced actor would have to think twice about, Fiennes admits, "I was undecided for a long time.Until after quite a few months of working on it, I felt, despite knowing it would be very difficult, that I couldn't resist playing him." Working as both director and lead actor on the film meant Fiennes had to juggle many hierarchical roles on the set, as characteristic he shared with the man he was playing: "In a funny way that probably helped me because it was very Dickens to be organising people and doing everything. He was in control of everything."
Watch five clips from The Invisible Woman
Continue reading: Fiennes Has Great Expectations For The Invisible Woman
A signed copy of the timeless CHARLES DICKENS classic, A Christmas Carol, is set to return back 'home' to the town that inspired it, The BBC reports. The book has been bought for £27,000 by a group of donors after a fundraising campaign in Malton, North Yorkshire.
The campaign was led by broadcaster and local resident Selina Scott, who said: "It inspired me when I heard that the book was coming up for auction in New York, I knew immediately that it had to come back to Malton. I knew the Smithson story because my grandfather used to be the editor of the Malton Messenger and the Malton Messenger in those days was owned by a Miss Smithson. So [the story] has come down through my family as much as it's come down through the Smithson family." The book will now go on show at the Talbot Hotel, near the Old Counting House in Malton, before joining the University of York's library and going on a tour of schools.
First published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843, the festive novella has had many interpretations, from a whimsical reincarnation via The Muppets, to being called an indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism. From TV to film, to theatre and radio, in a dramatic and comedic sense, A Christmas Carol has become one of Charles Dickens most treasured books.
Continue reading: Signed Charles Dickens Book Set To Return Home
Date of birth
7th February, 1812
Date of death
9th June, 1870