Pretty decent biography of charles dickens

Essay by juggy426High School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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Charles John Huffam Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth and spent most of

his childhood in London and Kent, both of which appear frequently in his novels. He started school at

the age of nine, but his education was interrupted when his father, an amiable but careless minor civil

servant, was imprisoned for debt in 1824. The boy was then forced to support himself by working in a

shoe-polish factory. From 1824 to 1826, Dickens again attended school. For the most part, however,

he was self-educated. He read a lot of books and some of his favorites were by his favorite books

were written by Henry Fielding and Tobias Smollett, and their influence can be discerned in Dickens's

own novels. In 1827 Dickens took a job as a legal clerk. After learning shorthand, he began working as

a reporter in the courts and Parliament, perhaps developing the power of precise description that was

to make his creative writing so remarkable.

In December 1833 Dickens published the first of a series of original descriptive sketches of

daily life in London, using the pseudonym Boz. The success of this work, Sketches by Boz, permitted

Dickens to marry Catherine Hogarth in 1836 and led to the proposal of a similar publishing venture in

collaboration with the popular artist Robert Seymour. When Seymour committed suicide, another artist,

H. K. Browne, called Phiz, who subsequently drew the pictures for most of Dickens's later works, took

his place. Dickens took changed the loosely connected drawings and turned them into a comic

narrative, called The Pickwick Papers in 1836. The success of this first novel made Dickens famous. At

the same time it influenced the publishing industry in Great Britain, being issued in a rather unusual form,

that of inexpensive monthly installments; this method of...