Charles Dickens - Facts, Plot Summaries and Information

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens Among His Characters

Charles Dickens was born at Landport, near Portsmouth, England, Feb. 7, 1812 and died at Gadshill, near Rochester, England, June 9, 1870. Dickens was a celebrated English novelist. He was the son of John Dickens, who served as a clerk in the navy pay office and afterward became a newspaper reporter. He received an elementary education in private schools served for a time as an attorney's clerk, and in 1835 became reporter for the “London Morning Chronicle.”

In 1833 Dickens published in the “Monthly Magazine” his first story entitled “ A Dinner at Poplar Walk,” which proved to be the beginning of a series of papers printed collectively as “Sketches by Boz”. In 1836. He married Catherine daughter of George Hogarth, in 1836. In 1836-37 he published the “Pickwick Papers,” by which his literary reputation was established. He became editor of “Household Words” in 1849, and of “All the Year Round" in 1859, and visited America in 1842 and 1867-68.

His chief works are “Pickwick Papers” (1837), “Oliver Twist” (1838), “Nicholas Nickleby” (1838-39), “Master Humphrey's Clock ” (including “ Old Curiosity Shop” and “Barnaby Rudge,” 1840-41), “American Notes”(1842), “Christmas Carol” (1843), “Martin Chuzzlewit” (1843-44), “ Chimes ” (1844), “ Cricket on the Hearth ”(1845), “Dormbey and Son” (1846-48), “David Copperfield” (1849-50), “Bleak House” (1852-53), “Hard Times” (1854), “little Dorrit”(1855-57), “Tale of Two Cities” (1859), “Uncommercial Traveler ” (1860),* “Great Expectations” (1860-61), “Our Mutual Friend” (1864-65), and the unfinished novel, the “Mystery of Edwin Drood ” (1870).

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens

Who Was Charles Dickens?

Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812 -- June 9, 1870), pen-name "Boz", was a very popular and prolific British author who lived and wrote during the Victorian Era. He was the author of over two dozen books, many of which are considered masterpieces of English literature. Though written for publication in serial form in magazines, the novels of Charles Dickens are deeply complex (often maddeningly so) with multiple layers of meaning, differing viewpoints, and large numbers of well-drawn major and minor characters. Dickens' works are still widely read today, while most of his Victorian contemporaries have faded into unread obscurity. A deeply complex and flawed man, Dickens life mirrored the plot of his own novels. Read More ...

Dickens and America: An Uneasy Relationship
Approaching New York Harbour

Dickens and America: An Uneasy Relationship

At the height of his popularity, Dickens travelled to the United States on a lecture tour. He was genuinely interested in learning about America and its institutions, but he was dismayed by social conditions, the excessive attention that was the product of America's celebrity culture, and the brazen wholesale pirating of his books by American publishers. Upon his return he gave America a less than favorable review in his American Notes. Read More ...

Victorian Scandal
Charles Dickens' Mistress

A Victorian Scandal: Dickens Separation from His Wife

When Charles Dickens made the decision to separate from his wife, it set off a scandal with allegation of an adulterous affair between the Middle Aged Dickens and an 18 year old actress named Ellen Ternan. To add to the scandal, there were whispers that there was also something unusual about Dickens' relationship with his sister in law. Read more ...

Charles Dickens and His Children
Children of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens and His Children

It's not easy growing up in the shadow of a famous father. Dickens' children had to deal with their parents' acrimonious separation, Dickens haphazard parenting, and the heavy burden of trying to succeed on their own terms. Most of his children had tragic lives. Read More ...

Updated: May 3, 2020

Charles Dickens

The Old Curiosity Shop

Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens

  • Biography
  • Personal Life
  • Life and Times
  • Children
  • Poet's Corner
  • Signature
  • Photographs
  • Summary and Analysis

  • Oliver Twist
  • David Copperfield
  • Bleak House
  • Dombey and Son
  • Martin Chuzzlewit
  • Old Curiosity Shop
  • Pickwick Papers
  • Christmas Carol
  • Tale of Two Cities
  • Little Dorrit
  • Pictures from Italy
  • Grimaldi
  • Child's History of England
  • Magic Wishbone
  • Great Expectations
  • Dickens Illustrations
  • Site Navigation

  • Privacy Policy
  • About Us
  • Contact
  • Site Updates
  • Site Map 1
  • Site Map 2