Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the greatest and most popular writers in the history of literature. In his novels, Dickens combines masterly storytelling, humor, pathos, and irony with sharp social criticism and acute observation of people and places, both real and imagined.
On February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England, Charles Dickens was born to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles was the second of eight children. He spent most of his childhood in London, the setting for many of his novels. He lived in a middle-classed family that, but his father was incapable of managing his own finances.
Dickens started school at the age of nine, but his education was interrupted when his father was imprisoned for debt in 1824. He was then forced to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory, a shoe-polish factory, to support himself. His experiences of trying to survive in the slums of England haunted him all of his life, and he would later devote many of his books to the retelling of his experiences. Dickens was saved from this situation when his father was released from prison.
From 1825 to 1827, Dickens again attended school for two years of formal schooling at Wellington House Academy in Hamstead. For the most part, however, he was self-educated. In 1827, dickens took a job as a legal clerk. By 1829, he had become a free-lance reporter at Doctor’s Commons Courts. He had become a very successful shorthand reporter of Parliamentary debates in the House of Commons and began work as a reporter for a newspaper, in 1832. During his time as a reporter he would develop his skills to write very detailed and factual-like stories.
In 1833, Dickens published his first of a series of original descriptive sketches of daily life in London. By 1834, he and adopted the pseudonym “Boz.” His Sketches by Boz was published in 1836. During that year he would marry Catherine Hogarth on April 2, 1836.
In 1836, Charles dickens published his first novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. The success of the Pickwick Papers made him famous. At the same time it influenced the publishing industry in Great Britain, being issued in an unusual form, that of inexpensive monthly installments that would run in literary magazines.