Dickens is considered one of the most popular and great literary geniuses of all time. Author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, after attending one of Dickens’s public readings remarked, “he has too much talent for his genius; it is a fearful locomotive to which he is bound and can never be free from it nor set to rest. . . . He daunts me! I have not the key.”
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles was only twelve years old when his father was thrown into debtor’s prison. Charles was forced to work at a blackening factory which caused emotional scarring. In his works, David Copperfield and Great Expectations, the themes of alienation and betrayal stem from his painful childhood.
A few years later, Charles became a day student at a school in London. At age fifteen, he was hired as an attorney’s office boy. In 1833, Charles took the pen name, Boz and worked as a free-lance reporter, while studying shorthand at night.
People marveled at the amount of writing Charles put out year after year. Between 1836 and 1844, while doing public readings around the world, Charles wrote the first series of Sketches by Boz, and ten additional titles.
In 1836, Charles married Catherine Hogarth. Together they had ten children. Charles was charming and brilliant but the couple later separated.
In 1869, Charles suffered his first stroke, forcing his public readings to be cancelled. Shortly thereafter he began working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He suffered another stroke on June 8, 1870, and he died the next day. On June 14, 1870, Charles was buried at Westminster Abbey, and the last episode of the unfinished Mystery of Edwin Drood appeared in September.
Some of Charles Dickens other works include: A Christmas Carol, The Cricket and the Hearth, The Haunted Man, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Little Dorrit, and The Pickwick Papers.