Charles Dickens

Bailey Veytia


Charles Dickens was an English writer, social critic as well the author of A Christmas Carol and many other great stories. What inspired Dickens to create this tale was the humiliating childhood experiences. Charles dickens was born on February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth during the Victorian era. As a child, Dickens read non stop. Some of his favorite books were Robinson Crusoe and The Arabian Knights which he read multiple times. Dickens had to leave school to work at a factory when his father was incarcerated in debtors prison. Even though he lacked a formal education, he had edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas, hundreds of non-fiction articles and short stories. He had a very good memory of his childhood which influenced his writing. In 1857, Dickens hired an 18 year old actress named Ellen Ternan who he ended up falling in love with. He finally made the decision to leave his wife Catherine Dickens. When she left she took one child and left the rest to be taken care of by her sister. On June 9th, 1865, Dickens was returning from Paris with Ellen by train when not long after abording the train, Dickens ended up in the Staplehurst rail crash. Fortunately for Dickens, he was one of the lucky survivors involved in the crash. He managed to save some lives as well. He used this experience for his ghost story. Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens created a series of "farewell readings" for England, Ireland, and Scotland, starting on October 6th. He was affected by giddiness and paralysis and collapsed on April 22nd, 1869, which caused the cancellation of many plans. On June 8th, 1870, Dickens had another stroke at his house after a productive day working on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness. The very next day, he died at Gad's Hill Place. His last spoken words were, "On the ground." as an answer to Georgina's suggestion to lie down.

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Connection to Present Day

Many have described Charles as "the man who invented Christmas". Obviously not the religious festival, more like the culture phenomenon around it. Lots of his characters, ideas and phrases have carved themselves into modern culture. And some think that he has completed even more for the current comedians. Most comedy today is the way it is because of the way Charles Dickens wrote in the 1900s. Comedy writers today owe him a huge debt.

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I believe Charles Dickens has influenced society positively. His writing has inspired change in society, physically and emotionally. He has changed our way of celebration to the end and beginning of new years, our idea of entertainment and our positive idea of society.

Dickens also influenced medicine and medical care in dozens of ways. He was also involved in the development of homeless shelters for women, the first pediantric hospital in the UK, as well as the creation of orthopedics. He has been the inspiration of some of our great inspirations today.

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Five Fun Facts

  • Dickens's home had a bookcase that was actually a secret door.
  • He had a pet raven named Grip that he stuffed after it died.
  • On public reading days, for breakfast, Dickens would have two tablespoons of rum with fresh cream.
  • Oxford English dictionary credits Dickens with the first use of whoosh, dustbin, butter-fingers, ect.
  • In 2009, a toothpick used by Dickens was sold for $9,000

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As a child, Dickens had a love for reading, but what really inspired to create some of these amazing stories were his humiliating childhood experiences. Although these experiences are not exactly described in the tales, his conflicted feelings for his father are the reason for the dual personalities for some of his characters, such as the protagonist from A Christmas Carol well known as Ebeneezer Scrooge.

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Works Cited

"A Christmas Carol." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

"Charles Dickens." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

"The Original Meme Generator." Meme Generator. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

Hudson, Alex. "Charles Dickens: Six Things He Gave the Modern World."BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

Kryger, Meir. "Charles Dickens: Impact on Medicine and Society." Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : JCSM : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016.

"Five Fascinating Facts about Charles Dickens." Interesting Literature. N.p., 07 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 May 2016.

N.p., n.d. Web.