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Charles Dickens

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YoungCharles DickensCharles Dickens as a young man
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Charles Dickens was born at Land port, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. His early years were an idyllic time. He thought himself then as a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy". He spent his time outdoors, reading voraciously with a particular fondness for the Picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding.His family was moderately well-off, and he received some education at a private school but all that changed when his father, after spending too much money entertaining and retaining his social position, was imprisoned for debt. At the age of twelve, Dickens was deemed old enough to work and began working for ten hours a day in Warren's boot-blacking factory. With this money, he had to pay for his lodging and help to support his family, which was incarcerated in the nearby Marshalsea debtors' prison. After a few years his family's financial situation improved, partly due to money inherited from his father's family. His family was able to leave the Marshalsea, but his mother did not immediately remove him from the boot-blacking factory, which was owned by a relation of hers. Dickens never forgave his mother for this and resentment of his situation and the conditions under which working-class people lived became major themes of his works. Dickens began work as a Law clerk, a junior office position with potential to become a lawyer. He did not like the law as a profession and after a short time as a court Stenographer he became a journalist, reporting parliamentary debate and traveling Britain by stagecoach to cover election campaigns. His journalism formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz and he continued to contribute to and edit journals for much of his life. In his early twenties he made a name for himself with his first novel, The Prickwick Paper

John Dickens seemed, most probably, a hearty and kindly character, a little florid of speech, a little careless of duty in some details, notably in the detail of education.

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Nashara Barlatier
1st period
FCEHS