SUMMARY: Charles Dickens (7 February 1812-9 June 1870) Charles Dickens is famous for writing several books, among them, A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol.

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Drawing from his own personal experiences, Charles Dickens was able to write some of the greatest literary works of all time. Many of the novels and stories that Charles Dickens have withstood the tests of time and they are still in demand today, which means they have never been out of print. Some of the great literary works that helped to create the legend of Charles Dickens include the following:

  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Oliver Twist
  • Great Expectations
  • A Christmas Carol
  • David Copperfield


Many of the stories written by Charles Dickens centered around poverty and the treatment of poor people in England. Charles Dickens grew up in London but he suffered from poverty as his father was jailed for being in debt and Charles Dickens ended up working 2 different jobs to help support his family. Upon the death of his grandmother, Charles Dickens father was granted an inheritance and was release from prison but his mother never called for Charles to come home, leaving Dickens frustrated with his mother and causing part of Dickens frustration and resentment toward women.


Most of the writings that Charles Dickens published were in serial form before they became complete works. Since they were published in serial form, each chapter was engaging and would have a cliffhanger, as this was used to help keep his readers interested and to come back to reading the next chapter. During the time that Dickens was publishing serial works in  magazines he was also writing other great stories such as The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and A Christmas Carol.


Charles Dickens always hated his name and often used a nickname of Boz. This nickname can be found in a series of short stories that Dickens published in the 1830’s. Dickens has been criticized for being a racist and sexist in many of his writings. Going back to how he grew up, many of the personality traits he picked up through his own life experiences. Often called short tempered and insensitive, Dickens was also unlucky in love as his first real love affair ended when the woman’s parents sent her to school in Paris as a way to get Dickens to stop pursuing her. Later Dickens met and married Catherine Hogarth in 1836. They had a successful marriage for many years as she bore 10 children and Dickens was able to publish several stories. However the marriage was unhappy and the couple ended up separating in 1858.


Dickens not only spent a large amount of time writing in America but he did a lot of philanthropy work in America. He came to America in 1842 and spent a great deal of time giving lectures and raising support for copyright laws in order to protect the works of writers. Dickens returned to England where he started to practice Unitarian Christianity even though he remained Anglican. He continued to travel abroad where he was able to write many stories such as Dombey and Son and also David Copperfield.


Charles Dickens passed away in 1870 and he was buried in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. Although Charles Dickens may not have been the most pleasant of individuals, the characters that he wrote into his stories remain some of the most iconic and memorable of all time. Charles Dickens will forever be known for his engaging storytelling abilities and his stories continue to remain some of the most popular of all time. The stories like Oliver Twist and also A Christmas Carol remain two of the most successful stories of all time and they have never been out of print.

A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions)
A Tale of Two Cities (Dover Thrift Editions)
Price: $1.93
Great Expectations
Great Expectations
Price: $5.53