Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens1

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Alex - DIckens

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Ife - Dickens

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Who was Charles Dickens?
Charles Dickens is a famous English writer. People all over the world enjoy his stories. One of them is Oliver Twist, the story of a poor boy in Victorian times. Books by Dickens can be funny and sad. His stories are full of interesting 'characters' (people).

When did Dickens live?
Dickens was born in England in 1812. He died in 1870..

Where was Dickens born?
On 7 February 1812, Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth. His parents named him Charles John Huffam Dickens.  In 1816 the family moved to Chatham, in Kent. Charles was happy there. He went to school. He explored the countryside. He loved the old castle at Rochester.

Hard times
In 1822 the family moved to London. Now times were hard. Charles’ father  was sent to prison for six months for not paying his bills. Charles (aged 12) had to work in a dirty old factory, beside the River Thames.  Dickens never forgot this unhappy time. He wrote about it later. In 1833, he sold his first story. At first Dickens called himself 'Boz'. This was his pen-name. In 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth. Suddenly he became famous. His funny stories called The Pickwick Papers were a success. Oliver Twist came out in 1837.

A famous man 
Dickens became so famous people knew him as he walked about London. He was a celebrity. Dickens walked for miles around the city, watching and listening. He made notes for new stories.

Dickens keeps busy
In 1846 Dickens became editor of the Daily News, a newspaper. In 1850 he started his own magazine, Household Words. Dickens was a show-off. He loved to give public readings from his books. In 1842, he visited America.

Two famous books
Of his many books, Dickens liked David Copperfield best. In it he wrote about Mr Micawber, who seems very like Dickens' father. In 1843, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. It is one of his most famous stories. In it, we meet the miser Scrooge - and three ghosts!

Family life
Dickens and his wife had 10 children. But their marriage was not happy. In 1858, they split up. Dickens loved acting. He had his own little theatre at home. While acting in a play in 1857, Dickens fell in love with Ellen Ternan, an actress.

How did Dickens die?
In 1864 Dickens and Ellen Ternan were in a train crash. Dickens was not badly hurt, but he was never very well after this accident. In 1868 he went on a tour of the United States. He read to large audiences, on stage. It was very tiring. He came home worn out and sick. Dickens died in June 1870, at home in Kent. He was working on a new book. It was The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Charles Dickens was buried in Westminster Abbey.