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Charles Dickens: Biography

English people in the 19th century loved novels. Some educated people, especially women, had lots of time to read. Long novels came out in cheap episodes, once a month. In most ways the greatest novelist that England has yet produced there has never been another English author who could write quite like he. No other writer except Shakespeare has invented so many characters which are still constantly reserved to phrases which are still in use. These words if high appreciation concern the master of the pen, Charles Dickens, the author of novels, editor and social reformer of the Victorian England, of the early 19th century.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and came of a well-to-do family. He had a happy childhood, but at the age of 12 when his father was imprisoned for debt, he had to work in a blacking factory. He never forgot this experience. At that time many very young children worked in factories for long hours in bed conditions. Dickens understood the miseries of poverty, hunger and loneliness and hated the snobbery of the rich. As a newspaperman later on he was able to write from his own experience about people in many different professions and social classes. His sympathies were always with the poor and suffering.

Many of his books contain pains and pleasures of child growing into adulthood. He started to publish at the age of 21 and his first success ment “Scatches by Boz”, but real came by his “Pickwick papers” - the book originated in the suggestion of a publisher and appeared as a serial form in monthly parts with comic drawings. The main hero is Mr. Pickwick a well-to-do retired businessman who likes to spend his retirement in the company of his fellows. They four tour the country at their own expense and send back to the Pickwick club accounts of their funny adventures and discoveries. The book is full of humour. In next years Dickens wrote many books. The best known are “David Copperfield”, ”Oliver Twist”, “Great expectations”, “Little Dorrit”, “Bleak house” and “Hard times”. These books were the means how to convey a message through fiction to the hard - headed. Also one of his most famous stories is “A Christmas Card”.

“Oliver Twist” – In Oliver Twist we meet a little boy - orphan - who is brought up and rows up in an orphanage. He is hungry and asks for more food. He gets into serious trouble and that is when his adventures begin. He leaves the orphanage and works in a funeral parlour. Later he takes to flight to London. There he meets a lot of new people. He makes friends with young boys - thieves, mainly with one of them called Fagin. Then Oliver has many problems and Mr. Brownlow helps him with them. Oliver lives in his house for indefinite time. After such time he comes back to Fagin and he lives in the house of Mrs. Maylie. At the end of this story the total change of his life happens. Oliver finds his family and real life. Everything ends in the happy way.
This novel is the rough critique of the social relationship among English people in 19th century especially the relationship to children.

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