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 Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens

Portsmouth, Portsmouth Unitary Authority, Hampshire, England
Death 9 Jun 1870 (aged 58)
Higham, Gravesham Borough, Kent, England
Cenotaph Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 6871688 · View Source
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Author. He is remembered for his many novels, which he wrote with the personal insight of Victorian era in England. With an appeal to all classes of people, his novels spread with successful popularity world-wide faster than any other author; he was an overnight success and became the social voice of the age. He was the son of Elizabeth and John, a Naval Pay Office clerk. During his childhood, the family spent time between Plymouth, London, and Chatham. When he was twelve, his father was imprisoned for debt, and forced to work labeling bottles at a blacking factory. After his father's release, Dickens was enrolled in a London school as a day pupil between 1824 and 1827. After the age of fifteen, he was employed as an office boy in an attorney's office, while he studied shorthand at night. At seventeen, he became a court stenographer, and the same year, he took a position as a newspaper reporter covering parliament for the “Morning Chronicle.” Under the pen name of “Boz”, he began writing essays on the subject of the London lifestyle. In April of 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, and after the couple had ten children, he separated from his wife, he had a public mistress, Ellen Ternan. The same year on commission, he began a feature series, “Those Posthumous Paper of the Pickwick Club,” which was very successful. Most of his work would debut as series in periodicals before being published in novels. Among these popular works included “Oliver Twist” in 1838, “Nicholas Nickleby” in 1839, “The Old Curiosity Shop” in 1841, and “Barnaby Rudge” in 1841. In 1842, he traveled to Canada and the United States as an advocate for international copyright laws and spoke against slavery. His “Martin Chuzzlewit” in 1844 gave an unflattering depiction of his impression of the New World. A classic that has been made into movies several times, “A Christmas Carol,” appeared in December 1843. His prolific output also included “David Copperfield” in 1850, “Bleak House” in 1853, “Hard Times” in 1854, “Little Dorrit” in 1857, “A Tale of Two Cities” in 1859, “Great Expectations” in 1861, and “Our Mutual Friend” in 1865. In 1856 he moved to his country home at Gads Hill. Beginning in 1858, he began taking commissions for public readings of his works; in 1863 he read on a France and England tour; then in 1866 on an England and Scotland tour; and in 1867 on an England and Ireland tour. The stress of traveling soon exhausted him causing his health to decline, but he continued with another reading tour to the United States in 1868 where he was held as a genius. This tour followed by more throughout England the following year. While on this tour he collapsed, had a stroke, and the remaining tour canceled. At home, he continued to write his novel “Mystery of Edwin Drood.” By March of 1870, he had submitted the first installment of this novel and completed twelve public readings in London. Five more of the proposed twelve installments of Drood was published by June before he suffered from another stroke. He died within a day never regaining consciousness. Although he discarded his autobiography written in first person, his novel “David Copperfield” has many points of his own life. Besides finding time to write his novels, he edited weekly periodicals including “Household Words” and “All Year Round,” wrote travel books, and administered charitable organizations. Despite his wishes to be quietly buried at Rochester Cathedral, he was interred in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey after a private funeral. A cenotaph for him was placed at Portsmouth to the left of his parents' graves sites and at Rochester Cathedral.

Bio by: Iola




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 23 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6871688
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Dickens (7 Feb 1812–9 Jun 1870), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6871688, citing Highgate Cemetery (West), Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .