Share via Email Charles Dickens circa In this church, inCharles Dickensaged 24, married Catherine Hogarth.
See Article History Alternative Title: Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity during his lifetime than had any previous author. Much in his work could appeal to the simple and the sophisticated, to the poor and to the queen, and technological developments as well as the qualities of his work enabled his fame to spread worldwide very quickly.
His long career saw fluctuations in the reception and sales of individual novels, but none of them was negligible or uncharacteristic or disregarded, and, though he is now admired for aspects and phases of his work that were given less weight by his contemporaries, his popularity has never ceased.
The most abundantly comic of English authors, he was much more than a great entertainer. The range, compassion, and intelligence of his apprehension of his society and its shortcomings enriched his novels and made him both one of the great forces in 19th-century literature and an influential spokesman of the conscience of his age.
Early years Dickens left Portsmouth in infancy. His happiest childhood years were spent in Chatham —22an area to which he often reverted in his fiction.
His origins were middle class, if of a newfound and precarious respectability; one grandfather had been a domestic servant, and the other an embezzler. His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was well paid, but his extravagance and ineptitude often brought the family to financial embarrassment or disaster.
Some of his failings and his ebullience are dramatized in Mr. Micawber in the partly autobiographical David Copperfield. In the family reached bottom. Charles, the eldest son, had been withdrawn from school and was now set to manual work in a factory, and his father went to prison for debt. These shocks deeply affected Charles.
Though abhorring this brief descent into the working class, he began to gain that sympathetic knowledge of its life and privations that informed his writings.
Also, the images of the prison and of the lost, oppressed, or bewildered child recur in many novels. Much else in his character and art stemmed from this period, including, as the 20th-century novelist Angus Wilson has argued, his later difficulty, as man and author, in understanding women: His schooling, interrupted and unimpressive, ended at These years left him with a lasting affection for journalism and contempt both for the law and for Parliament.
His coming to manhood in the reformist s, and particularly his working on the Liberal Benthamite Morning Chronicle —36greatly affected his political outlook. Another influential event now was his rejection as suitor to Maria Beadnell because his family and prospects were unsatisfactory; his hopes of gaining and chagrin at losing her sharpened his determination to succeed.
The same month, he was invited to provide a comic serial narrative to accompany engravings by a well-known artist; seven weeks later the first installment of The Pickwick Papers appeared. Within a few months Pickwick was the rage and Dickens the most popular author of the day.
Thus, he had two serial installments to write every month. Already the first of his nine surviving children had been born; he had married in April Catherine, eldest daughter of a respected Scottish journalist and man of letters, George Hogarth.
Finding serialization congenial and profitable, he repeated the Pickwick pattern of 20 monthly parts in Nicholas Nickleby —39 ; then he experimented with shorter weekly installments for The Old Curiosity Shop —41 and Barnaby Rudge Exhausted at last, he then took a five-month vacation in America, touring strenuously and receiving quasi-royal honours as a literary celebrity but offending national sensibilities by protesting against the absence of copyright protection.
Some of these feelings appear in American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit — Novels from Pickwick to Chuzzlewit His writing during these prolific years was remarkably various and, except for his plays, resourceful.
Pickwick began as high-spirited farce and contained many conventional comic butts and traditional jokes; like other early works, it was manifestly indebted to the contemporary theatre, the 18th-century English novelists, and a few foreign classics, notably Don Quixote.
But, besides giving new life to old stereotypesPickwick displayed, if sometimes in embryo, many of the features that were to be blended in varying proportions throughout his fiction: Rapidly improvised and written only weeks or days ahead of its serial publication, Pickwick contains weak and jejune passages and is an unsatisfactory whole—partly because Dickens was rapidly developing his craft as a novelist while writing and publishing it.
What is remarkable is that a first novel, written in such circumstances, not only established him overnight and created a new tradition of popular literature but also survived, despite its crudities, as one of the best-known novels in the world.
His self-assurance and artistic ambitiousness appeared in Oliver Twistwhere he rejected the temptation to repeat the successful Pickwick formula. Browne ] for most of the other novels until the s. The currency of his fiction owed much, too, to its being so easy to adapt into effective stage versions.
Sometimes 20 London theatres simultaneously were producing adaptations of his latest story, so even nonreaders became acquainted with simplified versions of his works. The theatre was often a subject of his fiction, too, as in the Crummles troupe in Nicholas Nickleby.
This novel reverted to the Pickwick shape and atmosphere, though the indictment of the brutal Yorkshire schools Dotheboys Hall continued the important innovation in English fiction seen in Oliver Twist—the spectacle of the lost or oppressed child as an occasion for pathos and social criticism.
Like his later attempt in this kind, A Tale of Two Cities, it was set in the late 18th century and presented with great vigour and understanding and some ambivalence of attitude the spectacle of large-scale mob violence.
Its American episodes had, however, been unpremeditated he suddenly decided to boost the disappointing sales by some America-baiting and to revenge himself against insults and injuries from the American press.
The invention of the Christmas books A Christmas Carolsuddenly conceived and written in a few weeks in latewas the first of these Christmas books a new literary genre thus created incidentally.Here she tackles the best recognized and loved man of nineteenth-century England, Charles Dickens; a literary leviathan whose own difficult path to greatness inspired the creation of classic novels such as Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Hard ashio-midori.coms: Charles Dickens was a prolific and highly influential 19th century British author, who penned such acclaimed works as 'Oliver Twist,' 'A Christmas Carol,' 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations.'.
Charles Dickens, in full Charles John Huffam Dickens, (born February 7, , Portsmouth, Hampshire, England—died June 9, , Gad’s Hill, near Chatham, Kent), English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian era.
Nineteenth Century Novelist Charles Dickens. He is one of the greatest English novelists. He gave the English novel and new life, place and importance.
Her famous novel Cranford () was a fine picture of life in a village. Her other novel Mary Barton showed . Charles Dickens, in full Charles John Huffam Dickens, (born February 7, , Portsmouth, Hampshire, England—died June 9, , Gad’s Hill, near Chatham, Kent), English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian era.
Watch video · Charles Dickens (February 7, to June 9, ) was a British novelist, journalist, editor, illustrator and social commentator who wrote such beloved classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.
Dickens is remembered as one of the most .