Dickens was born in Landport, Hampshire, in 1812. As a youngster
he experienced extreme poverty, even though his father had a job
in the navy pay office. At one point, when he was barely twelve
years old, his father was sent to a debtor's prison and Charles
had to work at a blacking factory.
Even though he had little formal schooling, Dickens had a flair
for writing. In 1834, he accepted a job as a reporter for the Morning
Chronicle and started the serial publication of the Pickwick Papers.
This brought him fame and success.
Dickens had his own vision regarding the content of the magazine
and had several major disagreements with his publishers. In 1859,
he decided to branch out on his own and created a new magazine,
All The Year Round. His first major writing was A Tale of Two Cities,
which appeared in serial form in his magazine. This novel is a departure
from Dickens' normal works, being a historical novel. The work deals
with the French Revolution and even though most of the characters
and events are fictitious, some actual historical happenings are
portrayed. The book is full of detail and the various storylines
are drawn together in the climatic concluding chapters.
Another important novel that he serialized was Great Expectations.
The magazine also published three of Wilkie Collins's novels, The
Woman in White (1860), No Name (1862) and The Moonstone (1868).
Dickens continued to publish All the Year Round until his death
Most of Dickens' writings deal with social issues. It is clear that
his unhappy childhood influenced his works and many of his books
deal with poverty and the injustices that society of that time heaped
Dickens' works became very popular during his lifetime mainly because
his characterization captured the hearts and minds of the reading
public, and also because they were affordable in that they were
published in the form of serials.
remains one of England's most popular authors. His books are read
throughout the world and they have been translated into many languages.