- Father went to prison for debt, followed by the rest of his family.
- Charles was forced to work in a factory for months to pay his family's debts
- Work experience left him mentally scarred for life
- Started his career by publishing "sketches", which were brief, informal stories and essays for newspapers and magazines.
- First publication was Sketches by Boz.
Sketches by Boz
Published in 1836, Dickens first published work.
Considered one of, if not the best, English author.
Dickens' Most Popular Works
A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, etc.
- Wrote all his major works installments, which gave readers a cheap source of literature and him a steady flow of income.
- The Arabian Nights was probably the largest influence on his writing.
- Developed his characters through actions in the plot rather than dialogue and description.
- Created idealized characters and sentimentalized scenes to contrast with his ugly social truths and caricatures.
- Very critical of poverty and social stratification in Victorian society, "Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen"
- Deeply unhappy with England's monarchy and corruption.
- Frequently focused on the theme of corruption.