Charles Dickens was an English writer and narrator. He was the second of eight children and as his father ended up in London's Marshals Debt Prison due to debt, at the age of 12 he dropped out of school and began working. Dickens is a painter of the English middle and lower bourgeoisie and the founder of the social novel. His works reflect a penchant for humor and satire, but also admixtures of the romantic and sentimental.
Early Life and Education
Charles Dickens was born on February 7th, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, as the second of eight children of John and Elizabeth Dickens. His father was a clerk. Shortly after Charles' birth, the family moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury, and when he was four years old in Chatham, then to Kent, where he stayed until the age of 11. He spent a lot of time outside but also enjoyed reading, especially novels by Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding. During the short time, his father worked as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, so Charles was educated in private schools.
His private schooling was abruptly interrupted, due to the family's financial problems which caused moving from Kent to Camden Town in London in 1822. Prone to living beyond his means John Dickens was imprisoned for debts at Southwark in London in 1824. He was soon imprisoned with him, his wife, and youngest children, as was the custom at the time. When he was 12 years old, Charles was assigned to his family's friend Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town. He later lived in the attic of the house of the insolvency agent Archibald Russell. Both later served as inspiration for his characters.
When he was free from her duties at the Royal Academy of Music he spent Sundays with his sister Frances in the Marshallese prison. To pay for his accommodation and help his family, he was forced to leave school and work 10 hours a day in a stickers factory, for 6 shillings a week. Difficult, and often cruel, working conditions left a lasting mark on Dickens, which later influenced his novels and essays, and became the basis for his interest in socioeconomic reform and working conditions.
After several months in Marshalsea prison, Elizabeth Dickens, John Dickens' paternal grandmother, passed away and left him a £ 450 estate. John was released from prison for taking over. After settling their debts, the Dickens family left prison.
Although Charles began attending Wellington House Academy in north London, his mother didn't immediately pull him out of the factory. This event developed in Dickens a sense that fathers should rule families, while mothers should keep their share of influence within the home. The refusal of his request to return from the factory was a significant factor in his attitude towards women. Righteous anger at the situation and conditions in which the working class of people lived became the main theme of his works.
He worked in the legal office of attorneys Ellis and Blackmore, as a junior clerk from May 1827 to November 1828. Then he left the office and became a reporter. A further cousin of Thomas Charlton, made him work as a reporter in the English court. "Doctors' Commons" (Civil Court), and Dickens shared a seat with him and wrote four years of court reports. He shared these experiences in his works (novels "Nicholas Nickleby", "Dombey and Son", and especially "Bleak House"). In them, he showed the machinations and bureaucracy of the legal system to a wider number of people, as well as conveyed his views on the heavy burden of the poor people if they are forced to go to court.
In 1830, Dickens met his first love, Maria Beadnell, who is considered to be the model for the character of Dora in the novel "David Copperfield". Maria's parents did not approve of the courtship, so they sent Maria to school in Paris, which ended the relationship.
On April 2, 1836, he married Catherine Thomson Hogarth (1816-1879), daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle. After a short honeymoon in Chalk, Kent, they returned to Furnival's Inn. In January 1837 he had the first of ten children, a son Charley, and a few months later the family settled in Bloomsbury, at 48 Doughty Street, London (Charles had a three-year lease for £ 80 a year, from March 25, 1837, to December 1839).
Dickens's younger brother Frederick and Catherine's 17-year-old sister Mary moved in with them. Dickens was very attached to Mary, who died in his arms after a brief illness in 1837. Dickens idealized Mary, and it is believed that later descriptions of the characters Rose Maylie, Little Nell, and Florence Dombey were created according to her. His grief was so great that he was late in writing the June excerpts from the Pickwick Papers and had to cancel Oliver Twist sequels for that month.
In 1832, at the age of 20, Dickens was energetic, full of good humor, enjoying popular parties, with no clear vision of what he wanted to become, yet he knew he wanted to be famous. He was attracted to the theater and managed to get an audition in Covent Garden, for which he prepared well, but also missed due to a cold, which broke his aspirations for a career on stage. A year later he submitted his first story "A Dinner at Poplar Walk" to London's Monthly Magazine. He lived in a rented room in the "Furnival's Inn", became a journalist who follows politics, reporting on parliamentary debates and traveling in Britain, following the election campaigns for the "Morning Chronicle" newspaper.
His journalism in the form of dashes in magazines was shaped into his first collection "Sketches by Boz" in 1836 (Boz was his family nickname which he used as a pseudonym). Dickens reportedly took the pseudonym from the nickname Moses that he gave to his youngest brother Augustus Dickens. When someone with a cold wanted to say "Moses" they would say "Bosses", which was later abbreviated to "Boz". Namely, Dickens was used at the time in "What the Dickens!" in which Dickens replaces the word "hell" with "Dickens". William Shakespeare was the first to use this in the comedy "The Merry Wives of Windsor". It was also used in the phrase "to play the Dickens" (as "to play havoc/mischief") which would be translated as "being naughty/insidious". He wrote and edited magazines for the rest of his life.
After the success of the sketches, the publisher "Chapman and Hall" offered Dickens to write a text with illustrations. After the second edition, Seymour committed suicide, and Dickens hired Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz) to do the illustration. This collaboration resulted in the novel "The Pickwick Papers" which was published in several chapters. The last sequel sold 40,000 copies.
In November 1836, Dickens accepted the post of editor at Bentley's Miscellany, which he worked for three years until he quarreled with the owner. In 1836, when he released the last sequel to Pickwick, he began working on parts of "Oliver Twist".
"Oliver Twist," published in 1838, became one of Dickens 'better-known stories, which adapted well for the theater, and was the first Victorian novel in which the child was the main character.
His success continued with the works "Nicholas Nickleby" (1838-39), "The Old Curiosity Shop" and "Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of" Eighty "as part of the" Master Humphrey's Clock "series (1840 -41) - which were published in sequels, and was later published as books.
In November 1851 Dickens moved to "Tavistock House" where he wrote "Bleak House" (1852-53), "Hard Times" (1854), and "Little Dorrit" (1857). In his new home, he entertained himself with amateur theater. In 1856, his income from writing was enough to buy "Gad's Hill Place" in Higham, Kent, where, as a child, he often passed by and dreamed that one day he would live in such a place. Some of the events from Shakespeare's "Henry IV," part one, took place at that location which also made Dickens happy.
In 1857, Dickens hired professional actresses for the play "The Frozen Deep," written by his protégé Wilkie Collins. Dickens fell in love with one of them. The love for Ellen Ternan lasted for the rest of her life. Dickens was 45 years old, while Ternan was 18 when Dickens decided to separate from his wife in 1858, which was very inappropriate under Victorian conventions at the time, while the divorce was unthinkable. When Catherine left home she took one child, the wife never saw her again, and entrusted the children to Sister Georgina who decided to stay in Gad's Hill.
At the time, although he was contemplating public readings, Dickens was asked by a hospital (Great Ormond Street Hospital) to participate in fundraising to pull the hospital out of the financial crisis. Charles West, Dickens' friend who was on the hospital's board of directors, asked him for help, to which Dickens agreed, and raised enough funds through his public readings to ensure the hospital's financial stability for a long time. Thus, for example, only on February 9, 1858, he collected £3,000.
After separating from Catherine, Dickens began a series of very popular tours of England, Scotland, and Ireland on which he read his works, which occupied most of his energy over the next decade, and he wrote only two novels at the time.
The more important works "A Tale of Two Cities" (1859) and "Great Expectations" (1861) were a great success. At the time, he was the editor, publisher, and author of Household Words (1850 - 1859) and All the Year Round (1858 - 1870).
In September 1860, in a field from the home of Gad's Hill, Dickens ordered a large bonfire in which he burned most of the letters, only those of a business nature remained. How Ellen Ternan also burned all of Dickens 'letters the duration and depth of their relationship are unknown. Thomas Wright recalled in the 1930s that Ternan may have had a love affair with Canon Benham and that the couple also had a son who died as a newborn, Kate Perugini, Dickens' daughter, said in a pre-death conversation in 1929. There is no evidence. On his death, Dickens ordered the payment of an annuity for Ternan which made her financially independent.
Claire Tomalin's book "The Invisible Woman" states that Ternan lived secretly with Dickens for at least 13 years. The book was later turned into a play by "Little Nell" by Simon Gray. At the time, Dickens was showing an increased interest in the paranormal and became one of the first members of the Engl organization. The Ghost Club.
On June 9, 1865, on his way back from Paris with Ternan, the train in which Dickens was traveling was involved in a car accident. The first seven wagons slipped off an iron bridge that was under repair. The only thing left on the rails was the first-class wagon in which Dickens was. Before rescuers arrived, Dickens was helping the victims with water and brandy. Before leaving, he remembered the manuscript for the unfinished work "Our Mutual Friend" that remained in his car and returned it. He later used this experience in a short ghost story "The Signal-Man", in which the main character foretells his own death in a train accident. The story is also based on several previous train accidents.
Dickens managed to avoid appearing before the accident investigation, because as he traveled with Ternan and her mother, that finding out would cause a scandal. Although he suffered no injuries, Dickens never recovered from the trauma of the train crash. His work boiled down to completing the never-ending "Our Mutual Friend" and beginning the never-ending "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".
Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens organized a "farewell readings" tour of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He managed to do 75 of the agreed 100 readings. Due to an attack of dizziness and paralysis, on the advice of a doctor, he canceled the tour on April 22, 1869. After recovering enough he arranged the last series of readings to make up for the sponsors what they had lost due to the tour interruption.
The last reading of the tour was at London's "St. James's Hall". His last public appearance was at a banquet at the Royal Academy in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, where he paid tribute to his late friend, illustrator Daniel Maclise.
On June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home, after a full day of work on "Edwin Drood." He did not regain consciousness and died the next day, June 9, exactly five years after the train accident. Contrary to his wishes, he was not buried in a cheap, modest, and strictly private funeral in Rochester Cathedral, but in Westminster Abbey.
Summaries, Analyses & Books