A Charles Dickens Background

Catherine Suckow

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was a beloved author of many novels and short stories. Charles was born in 1812 to John and Elizabeth Dickens, in Portsmouth, England. He was moved around several times, and then when he was still a boy he was forced to work in a shoe polish mill. When he grew up he evolved into a wonderful author. He did not write only one style, but opted to write in many different styles. Charles married Catherine Hogarth and together they had ten children. Dickens wrote one of his most popular novels A Christmas Carol, in 1843.


Industrialization in England began in the late 18th century. One invention that was created because of the revolution was the "Spinning Jenney", which was used to produce yarn. Industrialization brought about a new political reform that was transform England into a truly modern capitalist system. The steam engine was another huge invention and changed the way everyone would transport people and goods.

Victorian Era

The Victorian Era was named after Queen Victoria during her reign of sixty four years, from 1837 to 1901. During this period Britain managed to build the largest and richest empire under the queen. It was a time of tremendous change, most people transitioned from small villages and farms, to living and working in huge and busy cities. the number of people more than doubled, causing a huge demand for clothing, food, and housing.
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Child Labor and Poverty

Many children were forced to work in factories, with bad living and working conditions, and for little pay. Some children were as young as five years old when they were forced in labor. Often the kids were given dangerous jobs that would injure, and sometimes kill them. Poverty grew during the Victorian era thanks to housing shortages because of the population increase. Many poor people families lived in workhouses, that were overcrowded and disease ridden. A huge contribution to disease was the Thames River which was London sewer system. Cholera was a disease that spread quickly because of unclean or contaminated water, and it killed 55,000 people during the Victorian era.
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