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CHARLES DICKENS. Childhood. Born in Portsmouth, England on Friday, Feb. 7, 1812. The second of 8 children born to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Dreams. Charles was taught that if he worked hard and earned an education he could have anything he wanted.

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Childhood l.jpg

  • Born in Portsmouth, England on Friday, Feb. 7, 1812.

  • The second of 8 children born to John and Elizabeth Dickens

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  • Charles was taught that if he worked hard and earned an education he could have anything he wanted.

  • He dreamed of owning Gads Hill Place-the nicest house between Rochester and Gravesend.

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Trouble Comes

  • In 1817 John Dickens moved his family to Chatham & Charles experienced the best part of his childhood.

  • In 1824 the family moved to London and John Dickens was sent to Southwark to Marshalsea debtors’ prison.

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Charles Goes to Work

  • 12 year old Charles goes to work in Warren’s Blacking Factory--where he put labels on bottles of shoe polish.

  • He earned 6 shillings a week to help support his family--about 3 cents

  • He was disturbed to have been “cast out at such a young age.”

  • His novel David Copperfield is based on this experience.

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Life Goes On

  • John Dickens is paroled when a family member dies and leaves a legacy.

  • Charles continues his education at Wellington House Academy

  • Gets a job as a court reporter in the Court of Doctor’s Commons and then at the Morning Chronicle.

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A Career Begins…

  • December 1833 his first piece is published in The Monthly Magazine and it was followed by 9 more.

  • Eventually all of these were published together as Sketches by Boz.

  • He was writing under the pseudonym BOZ at this time.

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Love and Marriage

  • April 2,1836 Charles marries Catherine Hogarth the daughter of George Hogarth , a fellow employee at the Morning Chronicle.

  • They have 10 children together before they separate in 1858.

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Mary Hogarth

  • Catherine had a younger sister named Mary. She was beautiful and came to help the Dickens with housework shortly after they were married. Mary died at 17 in Charles’ arms-he wore her ring until his death. She was his ideal woman-innocent, young and beautiful.

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  • 1836 Dickens published The Pickwick Papers in 20 monthly installments. Each issue sold 40,000 copies.

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  • 1837-He begins to write Oliver Twist -this novel tells the story of Dickens’ life at the blacking factory.

  • It is his attack on a society that lets the poor suffer while the rich grow more wealthy.

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Nicholas Nickleby

  • 1838 Dickens begins to write Nicholas Nickleby. It was a comedy that sold over 50,000.

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A ChristmasCarol

  • December 1843 Dickens begins his most popular work: A Christmas Carol.

  • This story portrays a society saved by love and generosity.

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David Copperfield

  • This is Dickens most autobiographical work. It was published from May 1849-November 1850 in 20 installments.

  • 1850 Dickens started The Guild of Literature and Art.

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Other Works

  • A Tale of Two Cities

  • Great Expectations

  • His final work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood was never finished.

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Death and Memory

  • Charles Dickens dies on June 9, 1870 and he was buried at Westminster Abbey in the Poet’s Corner.

  • His tombstone reads: He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering and the oppressed; and by his death , one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.

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Memory con’t

  • Dickens felt that society as a whole needed to take responsibility for the poor. All of his works reflect this idea.

  • Dickens was to Victorian England what Shakespeare was to Elizabethan England.

  • He wrote 15 major novels and countless short stories.