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CHARLES DICKENS

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CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870)

charles dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the most popular writers of all time. His life is rather like one of his books, full of happy and sad situations. He was born near Portsmouth, England in 1812, and then the family moved to London. He was one of eight children. His father was a clerk, so they were very poor. Charles was taught to read by his mother. He loved books, but his pa 929d38j rents did not have enough money to send him to school  for long. At the age of twelve he went to work in a factory, and he hated the job. Then his father was sent to prison because he owed people money. Dickens wrote about these unhappy times later, in many of his stories. He did not want to stay  poor for ever. He taught himself shorthand and became a reporter in Parliament.

Dickens had his first success as a writer with The Pickwick Papers. By the age of  twenty-four he was already famous; he stayed famous until he died. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth, and they had ten children. They found it more and more difficult to live together, though, so in 1858 they moved to different homes. As well as his writing, Dickens had a number of other interests. He gave a lot of time to things that he believed in. He fought, for example, for changes to laws and to prisons. In the end his health suffered, and he died in 1870.

Dickens wrote different kinds of books, fiction and no-fiction. His fictional works are above all great stories, but they also show clearly the problems of poorer people at that time. One of his most famous early books is Oliver Twist, which tells of the adventures of a small boy in London's criminal world. It also tells of the terrible places where poor people had to live. Nicholas Nickleby paints a memorable picture of bad schools which made their owners rich. A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens's "Christmas books", about a rich man who cannot spend money. Scrooge learns, by the end, about the message of Christmas and becomes happy by giving money away. Great Expectations is the story of a boy growing up and his dreams for the future. These books are both funny and sad, but Dickens's later works are much darker. In Hard Times, Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend we see people at their worst. Bleak House shows us the cruelty and stupidity of the law.

Dickens began writing David Copperfield in 1849. It is the story of David's adventures as a child and as a man. It also shows people's suffering- the suffering of children, for example, in schools and at work. many of the situations are taken straight from Dickens's own young life. From the start the book was very popular with readers.

The story begins happily. David Copperfield grows up in a loving home with his mother and their servant and friend, Peggotty. But David's life changes when his mother marries Mr Murdstone, who does not like him and is cruel to him. At school David finds more cruelty. Here he becomes friends with the proud, good-looking Steerforth. David finds some happiness in Yarmouth, staying with Peggotty's brother and his relatives. Other people also become important in David's life: Mr Micawber, who always owes money, the "very humble" Uriah Heep, beautiful Dora, and sweet Agnes Wickfield.







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