Something about Charles Dickens and his ability to take his reader to unbelievable places with his imaginative powers allows him the honor of being the most popular English novelist of the 19th century. Dickens has thrilled his readers for many years with his down-to-earth stories about real people forced into real situations. Charles Dickens has the ability to tell his stories from personal experiences. He fine-tuned his ability to tell his own story through the life of another character or cast of characters.
Born on the evening of February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second child of his parents, John and Elizabeth Dickens. His parents lived in Portsmouth, which is located on England's southern coast. The family was in the lower division of the middle class. Charles Dickens' father, John, was a clerk at the Navy Pay Office in Portsmouth. Dickens's mother was very affectionate and rather foolish in practical matters.
John was a vivacious and generous man, but often lived outside the boundaries of his tight pocketbook. Later in life Dickens used his father as the basis for his fictional character, Mr. Micawber and his mother as Mrs. Nickleby in the Brothers Cheeryble (Constable 25).
In 1814 John Dickens was transferred from the post in Portsworth to one in London. Three years later the family moved to Chatham to be closer to their father who was working steadily at the post. Charles Dickens's mother taught him to read when he was barely five and for the next few years Dickens lived wonderfully, reading every book he could get his hands on. He quickly read through his father's collection of Shakespeare, Cervantes, Defoe, Smollett, Fielding, and Goldsmith. Every one of these authors left a mark on the young mind of Charles Dickens which is easy to see...