Memorable Quotations:
Charles Dickens

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Memorable Quotations: Charles Dickens
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Charles Dickens (1812–70) was an English novelist, one of the illustrious fiction writers in English. After a childhood of hardship, during which he had to toil for a time in a blacking warehouse (a humiliation he never forgot), Dickens became a court stenographer and parliamentary reporter. His early sketches of London life were collected in Sketches by Boz (1836). The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836–37), a series of linked humorous sketches, quickly made Dickens famous, and the major novels that followed established him as the most admired writer of his time. They include Oliver Twist (1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1841), Barnaby Rudge (1841), Dombey and Son (1848), David Copperfield (1850), Bleak House (1853), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1861), Our Mutual Friend (1865), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870; unfinished). Following an American trip in 1842, he wrote caustically about the U.S. in American Notes (1842) and in the novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1843). Working incessantly, Dickens gave highly successful readings from his works, edited two magazines, wrote Christmas stories, e.g., A Christmas Carol (1843), and managed amateur theatricals. He wed Catherine Hogarth in 1836, but despite their 10 children, it was not a cheerful union, and they separated in 1858. Although sometimes flawed by sentimentality, Dickens's novels are significant for their rich portrayals of all aspects of society, their campaigns against abuses (imprisonment for debt, legal delays, bad education), and their sharply drawn, eccentric characters, whose names—Mr. Micawber, Uriah Heep, Ebenezer Scrooge—have become household words for generations of avid readers.


Carol Dingle is a former English teacher, USO director, business owner, and world traveler.


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