A Christmas Carol Background

By Jaxon Schriock

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. He was the second of eight children. His father, John Dickens, was a naval clerk who dreamed of striking it rich. Charles Dickens’ mother, Elizabeth Barrow, aspired to be a teacher and school director. Despite his parents’ best efforts, the family remained poor. Nevertheless, they were happy in the early days.
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In 1822 the family’s financial situation had grown dire, as John Dickens had a dangerous habit of living beyond the family’s income. Eventually, John was sent to prison for debt in 1824, when Charles was just 12 years old. Charles Dickens was forced to leave school to work at a boot-blacking factory to pay off his fathers debt. Once John was out of prison Charles mother still insisted on him working at the factory to aquire income for the family to live.
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Much to his relief, Dickens was permitted to go back to school when his father received a family inheritance and used it to pay off his debts. But when Dickens was 15, his education was pulled out from under him once again. In 1827, he had to drop out of school and work as an office boy to contribute to his family’s income. As it turned out, the job became an early launching point for his writing career.
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Within a year of being hired, Dickens began reporting at the law courts of London. Just a few years later, he was reporting for two major London newspapers.In 1833, he began submitting sketches to various magazines and newspapers under the name “Boz.” In 1836, his clippings were published in his first book, Sketches by Boz. Dickens’ first success caught the eye of Catherine Hogarth, whom he soon married. Catherine would grace Charles with a brood of 10 children before the couple separated in 1858.

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In the same year that Sketches by Boz was released, Dickens started publishing The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. After having much success with them, Charles began his life as a famous author putting out great stories such as "A Christmas Carol" which basically created the white christmas. He did this until 1870 when he died of a stroke while working on a mystery book that was never finished.