Biography of Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

British writer, born in Portsmouth (in the British County of Hampshire, in the South of Great Britain) on February 7, 1812 and died at Gad completo Hill (in the County of Kent) on June 9, 1870, creator of the social novel, is considered one of the major narrators of the literature. He/She was the first author that showed a greater concern for the poor and the marginalized. He/She fought in his works against the injustices of society committed against the weakest. It is also very important to vision critical of society, full of wit and good humor. In his narratives of maturity there is a magnificent description of the psychology of the characters, which behave as real beings of flesh and bone. His style is simple and plain, easy to read. Sometimes the descriptions are very long.

Charles Dickens.


He belonged to a modest family who spent great economic hardship. His father was a humble civil servant who spent more than he/she had, and came to be imprisoned because they could not pay their debts.

At age nine he/she began to attend school, but he/she had to interrupt his studies in 1824. That year, his father was taken to prison and the family ran out of money, so the small Charles, with only twelve years, was forced to work in a factory of bitumen.

The miserable conditions in which lived working children, as well as the hardness of the prisons, were well recorded in the mind of Dickens. Years later, reflected these and other injustices in many of his works.

For some time, his family lived on the street, looking for shelter in the seedier places (of great poverty and dirt). The Dickens were spending many nights in jail, next to the head of the family.

Meanwhile, the young Charles read a lot on their own, as he/she had discovered his great love of literature. When the father got out of jail, his mother forced him to continue working, because the family needed to survive the little money he/she earned in the bitumen factory.

Their working conditions were improved when he/she got a job as Assistant to a few lawyers. Then, taking advantage of that his father had placed as a newspaper reporter, got that they charge you the Chronicles of the sessions of the Parliament.

Fell in love with is one such MarĂ­a Beadnell, which remained a courtship for four years. But the young man's family not allowed to marry (as Dickens belonged to a lower social group).

In a short time got to be noticed by his journalistic articles, mostly by the descriptions of London customs published in The Monthly Magazine. His ability loved to readers to tell the daily life of the big city, so a Publisher commissioned a book of notes written in the same style. It was as well as hit the streets for their first work, entitled the notes of Boz (1836).

The book was very successful, that inspired Dickens to write which would be his first masterpiece: the posthumous papers of the Pickwick (published by monthly installments between 1836 and 1837) club. From then on, it was recognized as a great writer.

Then followed triumphing with his novels, and gaining prestige as a lecturer, journalist and organizer of theatrical roles (in which he/she was actor). He/She was also well known for their charitable actions (intended to combat hunger and the misery that he/she had experienced in his childhood).

He founded and edited newspapers, and continued becoming more famous as a writer. He/She was invited to give lectures in the United States, where he/she distinguished himself by his denunciation of slavery.

In 1836 he/she married Catherine Hogarth, with whom he/she had ten children. But separated from her after fall for the actress Ellen Ternan, who was much younger than him. From 1858 he/she kept a relationship with this woman, but this adventure ended in a sentimental hard failure for the writer.

He died at Gad's Hill in 1870. He/She was buried in Westminster Abbey, where the most illustrious British citizens received burial.


Charles Dickens is the great English novelist of the 19th century. Their stories, of great emotional strength (that is, closer to the feelings that the intelligence) soon captivated thousands of readers. His work describes to perfection the society of his time and strongly denounces the exploitation of the poorest classes.

In almost all of the stories narrated by Dickens, there is always a background of misery, hunger, injustice and dirt. The writer described in detail the world's disadvantaged classes (slums, prisons, orphanages), in an attempt to draw attention to the harsh conditions of life that many people supported at the time.

In addition to this social criticism, in his novels is no place for humour, tenderness, the description of the Customs and moral lessons, or instructions on what is right and what is wrong.

The criticism has shown reservations towards the work of Dickens; However, the public always has greatly appreciated his work, forgiving him the errors of taste and pathetic excesses and moralists. It created the social novel, fused tradition picaresque Defoe and Fielding, with the sentimental Goldsmith and Sterne, though his denunciation of the exploitation of man is sometimes too rhetorical. He/She knew how to give their characters from a great vivacity; He/She went on to create complex and ambiguous psychologies in the maturity of his work. Both objects, and the atmosphere and the urban landscape are an integral part of the table, where you reach a strong symbolism.

The posthumous papers of the Pickwick (1836-1837) club was his first big hit of sales: deliveries increased from 400 copies to 40,000, in a short period of time and in their latest deliveries came to throw forty thousand copies. He/She revealed to Dickens as a master of humorous prose, describing with grace and kindness to the types most extravagant of English society, both the field and the city. The plot develops an idealized and eccentric England environment, where, despite the social differences, there is no criticism.

Oliver Twist (1837-38) is his first social novel. Dickens left aside the sense of humor that had made him famous in his earlier work to tell a story of great hardness: the sufferings and miseries of a poor child and orphan, forced to live in arduous environments (an orphanage, the districts inhabited by thieves and prostitutes, etc.).

The historical novel Barnaby Rudge (1841) tells about events in late 18th century England. Dickens relates them with the political situation of his time. Life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844), written after his trip to the United States, shows the disappointment that caused him to visit that country. Dickens believed that there had won freedom and justice, and proved that it was not so. Cuentos de (1843-1848) collects a series of Christmas stories, which include the famous "Christmas song" story. David Copperfield (1849-1850) is another of his masterpieces and one of the great novels of world literature. Dickens was based on his own life to have a series of adventures that collect part of their childhood. Hard times (1854) is another social novel, in which acquired great importance the world's workers and the industry. Great expectations (1860-1861) is a new masterpiece, which demonstrates the great skill that Dickens had developed when it comes to reflect the psychology of his characters. Finally, the mutual friend (1864-1865) is a mature work, in which the author shows disappointed: he/she had believed that the bourgeoisie would end up with injustice and poverty, but the bourgeois class feel the same contempt, showing the nobility towards the humble, working-class new (workers or proletarians) also offer great hope for improvement, then acquire the same vices and defects to the bourgeoisie.

Other Dickens works that deserve to be remembered are: Nicholas Nickleby, the warehouse of antiques, American notes, life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, in these last two perfectly reflected the disappointment of Dickens by American democracy; Dombey and son, desolate House, little Dorrit, history of the two cities and the mystery of Edwin Drood, the latter, a detective work that Dickens did not complete before his death.