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 Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens

  • Birth 7 Feb 1812 Portsmouth, Portsmouth Unitary Authority, Hampshire, England
  • Death 9 Jun 1870 Higham, Gravesham Borough, Kent, England
  • Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
  • Plot Poets Corner
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 1256

Author. Born in Portsmouth, England, the son of Elizabeth and John Dickens, a Naval Pay Office clerk. The family spent its time between Plymouth, London, and Chatham during his childhood. When he was twelve, his father was imprisoned for debt, and he was put to work at a blacking factory labeling bottles. Upon his father's release, he enrolled in a London school as a day pupil, attending between 1824 and 1827. At fifteen, he found employment as an office boy in an attorney's office, while he studied shorthand at night. At 17, he became a court stenographer. In 1829, he took a position as a parliamentary reporter for the 'Morning Chronicle.' He began writing essays of London life under the pen name Boz, which were appearing in periodicals by 1833. They were collected and published as 'Sketches by Boz' (1836). That same year, he began the serial feature, 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' on commission, and it became a popular success. Most of his work would debut as serials in the periodicals before being published in novel form, these popular works included 'Oliver Twist' (1838); 'Nicholas Nickleby ' (1839); 'The Old Curiosity Shop' (1841); and 'Barnaby Rudge '(1841). His became among the most popular novelists of his day. In 1842, he traveled to Canada and the United States as an advocate for international copyright law. His 'Martin Chuzzlewit' (1844) included an unflattering depiction of his impression of the New World. 'A Christmas Carol' appeared in December 1843. His prolific output also included such titles as 'David Copperfield' (1850), 'Bleak House' (1853); 'Hard Times' (1854); 'Little Dorrit '(1857); 'A Tale of Two Cities' (1859); 'Great Expectations' (1861); and 'Our Mutual Friend '(1865). In 1856 he moved to a country home at Gads Hill, and in 1858, he began taking commissions for public readings of his works. In 1863, he toured France and England, reading from his own work. Further tours of England and Scotland in 1866, and England and Ireland in 1867 exhausted him and damaged his health. Despite his precarious health, further strained by an American reading tour in 1868, he undertook more readings in England upon his return. In 1869, while still on tour, he collapsed, demonstrating all the symptoms of stroke. The rest of the tour was canceled, but he continued to work on another novel; 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood.' By March 1870, he had submitted the first installment of Drood, and completed twelve public readings in London. Five more of the proposed twelve installments of Drood were published by June, when he suffered another stroke. He died within a day having never regained consciousness. Despite his wish to be quietly buried at Rochester Cathedral, he was interred in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey after a private funeral.

Bio by: Iola





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1256
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Dickens (7 Feb 1812–9 Jun 1870), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1256, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .