Interior: Bah Humbug
Charles Dickens Hagiography
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England in 1812. His early years were idyllic and comfortable, but by age twelve his family’s fortunes had changed, and they were incarcerated in a debtor’s prison. Dickens spent 10-hour work days at a boot-blacking factory to support them. Here he became a fierce critic of the poverty and social stratification of Victorian society. At age 15, he began work as a law clerk, but it was journalism that he most enjoyed. In his early twenties his first full novel, The Pickwick Papers, brought him immediate fame which continued throughout his lifetime. In 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, with whom he had ten children. He died in 1870 and was buried in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. Dickens is regarded as the most important English novelist of the Victorian era. Few writers have enjoyed his popular, critical and financial success; and even fewer can match his blend of characterization, social commentary, and humor. The characters themselves – Ebenezer Scrooge, Fagin, and Miss Havisham to name a few – have taken on lives of their own. His best-known works include Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol, yet none of his novels have ever gone out of print. At least 180 movies and TV adaptations based on his works further confirm his undying popularity.