Charles Dickens Popular Books

Charles Dickens Biography & Facts

Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English novelist and social critic who created some of the world's best-known fictional characters, and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime and, by the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are widely read today.Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school at the age of 12 to work in a boot-blacking factory when his father John was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. After three years he returned to school, before he began his literary career as a journalist. Dickens edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, for education, and for other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers, a publishing phenomenon—thanks largely to the introduction of the character Sam Weller in the fourth episode—that sparked Pickwick merchandise and spin-offs. Within a few years, Dickens had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most of them published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her own disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor would individually pay a halfpenny to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.His 1843 novella A Christmas Carol remains especially popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every creative medium. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities (set in London and Paris) is his best-known work of historical fiction. The most famous celebrity of his era, he undertook, in response to public demand, a series of public reading tours in the later part of his career. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social or working conditions, or comically repulsive characters. Early life Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 at 1 Mile End Terrace (now 393 Commercial Road), Landport in Portsea Island (Portsmouth), Hampshire, the second of eight children of Elizabeth Dickens (née Barrow; 1789–1863) and John Dickens (1785–1851). His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office and was temporarily stationed in the district. He asked Christopher Huffam, rigger to His Majesty's Navy, gentleman, and head of an established firm, to act as godfather to Charles. Huffam is thought to be the inspiration for Paul Dombey, the owner of a shipping company in Dickens's novel Dombey and Son (1848).In January 1815, John Dickens was called back to London, and the family moved to Norfolk Street, Fitzrovia. When Charles was four, they relocated to Sheerness and thence to Chatham, Kent, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11. His early life seems to have been idyllic, though he thought himself a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy".Charles spent time outdoors, but also read voraciously, including the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding, as well as Robinson Crusoe and Gil Blas. He read and re-read The Arabian Nights and the Collected Farces of Elizabeth Inchbald. At the age of seven, he first saw Joseph Grimaldi—the father of modern clowning—perform at the Star Theatre in Rochester, Kent. He later imitated Grimaldi's clowning on several occasions, and would also edit the Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. He retained poignant memories of childhood, helped by an excellent memory of people and events, which he used in his writing. His father's brief work as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office afforded him a few years of private education, first at a dame school and then at a school run by William Giles, a dissenter, in Chatham. This period came to an end in June 1822, when John Dickens was recalled to Navy Pay Office headquarters at Somerset House and the family (except for Charles, who stayed behind to finish his final term at school) moved to Camden Town in London. The family had left Kent amidst rapidly mounting debts and, living beyond his means, John Dickens was forced by his creditors into the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London in 1824. His wife and youngest children joined him there, as was the practice at the time. Charles, then 12 years old, boarded with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, at 112 College Place, Camden Town. Mrs Roylance was "a reduced impoverished old lady, long known to our family", whom Dickens later immortalised, "with a few alterations and embellishments", as "Mrs Pipchin" in Dombey and Son. Later, he lived in a back-attic in the house of an agent for the Insolvent Court, Archibald Russell, "a fat, good-natured, kind old gentleman ... with a quiet old wife" and lame son, in Lant Street in Southwark. They provided the inspiration for the Garlands in The Old Curiosity Shop.On Sundays – with his sister Frances, free from her studies at the Royal Academy of Music – he spent the day at the Marshalsea. Dickens later used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit. To pay for his board and to help his family, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station, where he earned six shillings a week pasting labels on pots of boot blacking. The strenuous and often harsh working conditions made a lasting impression on Dickens and later influenced his fiction and essays, becoming the foundation of his interest in the reform of socio-economic and labour conditions, the rigours of which he believed were unfairly borne by the poor. He later wrote that he wondered "how I could have been so easily cast away at such an age". As he recalled to John Forster (from Life of Charles Dickens): The blacking-warehouse was the last house on the left-hand side of the way, at old Hungerford Stairs. It was a crazy, tumble-down old house, abutting of course on the river, and literally ov.... Discover the Charles Dickens popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Charles Dickens books.

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  • Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Works of Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    Table of Contents  List of Works by Genre and Title List of Works in Alphabetical Order  List of Works in Chronological Order Charles Dickens Biography Fiction :: Short S...

  • Life of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Life of Charles Dickens

    Frank Thomas Marzials

    "Life of Charles Dickens" is a comprehensive biography by Frank Thomas Marzials. The author has paid tribute to Dickens, the legendary English writer of all times, for his contribu...

  • The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 1 synopsis, comments

    The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 1

    Charles Dickens

    A Supplement to the "Life of Charles Dickens, " collection dates from 1833, the commencement of Charles Dickens's literary life, just before the starting of the “Pickwick Papers, "...

  • Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is widely regarded a...

  • The Wolf and the Watchman synopsis, comments

    The Wolf and the Watchman

    Niklas Natt och Dag

    “The Alienist set in eighteenthcentury Stockholm: Brawny, bloody, intricate, enthrallingand the best historical thriller I’ve read in twenty years.” A.J. Finn, #1 bestselling autho...

  • 10 Complete Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    10 Complete Works of Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    DAVID COPPERFIELD BLEAK HOUSE GREAT EXPECTATIONS OLIVER TWIST OR THE PARISH BOY'S PROGRESS DOMBEY AND SON LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT LITTLE DORRIT THE LIFE AND ADVENT...

  • Beowulf synopsis, comments

    Beowulf

    Robert Nye

    He comes out of the darkness, moving in on his  victims in deadly silence. When he leaves, a trail  of blood is all that remains. He is a monster,  Gr...

  • The Charles Dickens Collection Volume One synopsis, comments

    The Charles Dickens Collection Volume One

    Charles Dickens

    Three of Dickens’s most compelling orphan protagonistsOliver Twist, Pip, and Esther Summersonin three of his greatest novels. Perhaps no writer in the English language is more clos...

  • A Christmas Carol - an Illustrated Christian Tale for Kids By Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    A Christmas Carol - an Illustrated Christian Tale for Kids By Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens, Arthur Friday & Tom eMusic

    A Christmas Carol is one of the most famous tales in the world. It is at once a Christmas tale, a ghost story and a journey of discovery and redemption. This fully illustrated stor...

  • Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is widely regarded a...

  • The Collected Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    The Collected Works of Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    This comprehensive eBook presents the complete works or all the significant works the Œuvre of this famous and brilliant writer in one ebook easytoread and easytonavigate: A Ch...

  • Delphi Complete Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Delphi Complete Works of Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    Widely considered the greatest author of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, winning universal praise as a literary genius. Dic...

  • Drood synopsis, comments

    Drood

    Dan Simmons

    On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53yearold Charles Dickens at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful ...

  • The Last Dickens synopsis, comments

    The Last Dickens

    Matthew Pearl

    In his most enthralling novel yet, the critically acclaimed author Matthew Pearl reopens one of literary history’s greatest mysteries. The Last Dickens is a tale filled with the da...

  • Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens

    Gilbert Keith Chesterton

    This book display author's supreme admiration for Dickens. Henceforth discussing the works of dickens.

  • The Works of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    The Works of Charles Dickens

    Charles Dickens

    The collected works of Charles Dickens are here in one huge collection. An active table of contents makes it easy to navigate the book and find the work you are looking for.Works i...

  • Charles Dickens as a Reader synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens as a Reader

    Charles Foster Kent

    Kent scans the works that influenced and shaped Dickens thought processes throughout his life. Categorically concentrating on one side of his personality, this work enables the rea...

  • In Jail with Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    In Jail with Charles Dickens

    Alfred Trumble

    This is a historical book. Readers of Charles Dickens must all have remarked the deep and abiding interest he took in that grim accessory to civilization, the prison. He not only w...

  • The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 2 synopsis, comments

    The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 2

    Charles Dickens

    A Supplement to the "Life of Charles Dickens," collection dates from 1833, the commencement of Charles Dickens's literary life, just before the starting of the “Pickwick Papers," a...

  • Arguably synopsis, comments

    Arguably

    Christopher Hitchens

    "All firstrate criticism first defines what we are confronting," the late, great jazz critic Whitney Balliett once wrote. By that measure, the essays of Christopher Hitchens are in...

  • The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 3 synopsis, comments

    The Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume 3

    Charles Dickens

    A Supplement to the "Life of Charles Dickens, " collection dates from 1833, the commencement of Charles Dickens's literary life, just before the starting of the “Pickwick Papers, "...

  • Hunted Down synopsis, comments

    Hunted Down

    Charles Dickens

    Hunted Down' is a selection of Dickens' fascinating detective stories. Haining introduces a motley cast of heroes and villains in episodes that are sometimes comical, sometimes gro...

  • Charles Dickens and Music synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens and Music

    James T. Lightwood

    The attempts to instil the elements of music into Charles Dickens when he was a small boy do not appear to have been attended with success. Mr. Kitton tells us that he learnt ...

  • The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete synopsis, comments

    The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete

    John Forster

    When his father was again brought up by his duties to London from Portsmouth, they went into lodgings in Norfolk Street, Middlesex Hospital; and it lived also in the child's memory...

  • Mr. Dickens and His Carol synopsis, comments

    Mr. Dickens and His Carol

    Samantha Silva

    "CHARMING...I READ IT IN A COUPLE OF EBULLIENT, CHRISTMASSY GULPS." Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See"GRACED BY THE GHOSTLY PRESENC...

  • What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew synopsis, comments

    What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

    Daniel Pool

    A “delightful reader’s companion” (The New York Times) to the great nineteenthcentury British novels of Austen, Dickens, Trollope, the Brontës, and more, this lively guide clarifie...

  • Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens

    Claire Tomalin

    Awardwinning Claire Tomalin, author of A Life of My Own, sets the standard for sophisticated and popular biography, having written lives of Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, and Thom...

  • The Mystery of Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    The Mystery of Charles Dickens

    A.N. Wilson

    Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best BiographyA lively and insightful biographical celebration of the imaginative genius of Charles Dickens, published in commemoration of the 150t...

  • Charles Dickens synopsis, comments

    Charles Dickens

    Joelle Herr

    Celebrate the bicentennial birthday of Charles Dickens with this Miniature Edition packed with witty summaries of the novels of one of history's most beloved storytellers. All fans...