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Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England on February 7th, 1812,the second of eight children. His father was a clerk working for the Navy Pay office and was imprisoned for debt when Charles was very young. Due to the lack of funds, Dickens went to work at a blacking warehouse when he was twelve. His brush with hard times and poverty affected him deeply, and he would later recount his experiences in the semi-autobiographical David Copperfield. Furthermore, a concern for social justice and reform which surfaced later on in his writings, grew out of the neglect and harsh condition she experienced in the warehouse. Although he had little formal schooling, he was able to teach himself shorthand, leading him to a job as a parliamentary reporter at a newspaper. While he published several sketches in magazines, it was not until he wrote The Pickwick Papers from 1836-7 that he experienced true success. A publishing phenomenon, The Pickwick Papers was published in monthly installments and sold over forty thousand copies for each issue. The year 1836 also saw his marriage to a Catherine Hogarth, who was the daughter of a fellow co-worker at the newspaper. Their marriage was not a happy one, but the two would have ten children together before their separation in 1858. Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby subsequently followed; both were published in monthly installments and reflected simultaneously Dickens' understanding of the underclass and his comedic genius. In 1843, Dickens published one of his most famous works, A Christmas Carol. In this story especially, it was evident how Dickens was becoming disenchanted with the economic philosophy of the world; he blamed much of society's ills on people's obsession with earning money and acquiring a status based on money. His travels abroad, first to America and then all over Europe, in the 1840s began a different stage in his life. His writings became more serious and involved more planning on hi...

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