Charles Dickens.

Essay by silverfirexzJunior High, 8th grade May 2003

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Many people have heard of the world-renowned English novelist Charles Dickens. Throughout his life, he wrote many novels, such as Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities, but they didn't die with him. Instead, they still thrive in popularity today, as does his name. Dickens is a marvelous man with an intriguing background.

Charles John Haffam Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsea, England, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. He was the second child of eight children. Dickens' father, a clerk in the navy, although paid well, often had debts and such due to his inability to wisely use money.

When Dickens was two years old, his family moved to London. Later that same year, they moved to Chatham. While there, Dickens and his father would often take walks. It was during one of these walks that he saw a grand, old house called Gad's Hill Place, which was near Rochester, Kent.

He fell in love with its romanticism and grandeur, and determined to someday own it.

Dickens lived in relative peace until his family was put into Marshalsea Debtors Prison, located in London, on February 2, 1824, when he was twelve years old. During the time in which his family was imprisoned, the young Dickens worked at Warren's Boot Blackening Warehouse, in Hungerford Market, where his job was pasting labels on bottles of polish from sun-up to sundown.

After a few months of starvation and child labor, Charles Dickens' grandmother die, leaving his father, John Dickens, enough money to pay his debts and free his family from prison.

Once his family had been freed, Dickens was able to go to school. He attended school off and on for two years, finally stopping his formal education entirely by becoming a clerk in a law office at age...