was born in England in 1812 and had a difficult childhood, his family being always short of money. In fact his father spent some time in a Debtors’ prison.
It is clear that his unhappy childhood affected his writing in later life
and many of his books deal with the injustices upon children such as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. 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.
His books are full of colorful characters and intriguing plots and was read
over and over again giving lasting entertainment.
Great Expectations was written in 1860 and together with David Copperfield,
it could be described as his autobiographical work.
The novel was written during a traumatic time for Dickens who was divorcing his wife and also had a disagreement with his publishers. It was not received well by literary critics, but the public loved it in general, who considered it to be his best work to date. It also came at a time when his financial situation was precarious, and he derived a considerable income from its publication.
Dickens’ biographer George Woodcock, states that due to the disagreement
with his publishers, Dickens created his own magazine called ‘All the Year Round’ and the novel Great Expectations appeared in this publication.
Great Expectations depicts early Victorian life in England during the time
of the Industrial Revolution where the social structure was experiencing great upheaval. It was a time when the rich were very rich and the poor led a life near to slavery. The novel provides an insight
into both country life and city life where the only advantages that the poor have in the countryside is a clean environment.
Dickens deals with the power that money has and documents Pip’s struggle
from being a bound apprentice in the forge to one of the rich gentlemen in the city.
Dickens died on 9th June 1870 at the age of 58. He was buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey and remains one of England’s most popular authors and is read throughout the world in many languages.