Charles Dickens Biography
At Writers Theatre: A Christmas Carol ('07), A Christmas Carol ('08)
Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Hampshire, during the new industrial age. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office, who was well paid but often ended in financial troubles. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and then to Chatham, where he recieved some education. He worked in a London blacking factory, while his family was in Marsgalea debtor's prison. In 1824 - 27 he studied at Wellington House Academy, London and at Mr. Dawson's school. From 1827 to 1828 he was a law office clerk and then worked as a shorthand reporter at Doctor's Commons. He wrote for True Son (1830-32), Mirror of Parliament (1832-34) and the Morning Chronicle (1834-36). In the 1830's he was a contributor to Monthly Magazine and The Evening Chronicle and edited Bentley's Miscellany. In the 1840's Dickens edited the London Daily News. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 whe his short stories and essays appeared in periodicals. His Sketches by Boz and The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836. Dickens's novels first appeared in monthly installments and included Oliver Twist (1837-39), Nicholas Nickelby (1838-39) and Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41). Among his later works are David Copperfield (1849-50), Bleak House (1852-53), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1860-61). The unfinished mystery novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood was published in 1870. In the 1840's Dickens spent much time travelling and campaigning against many of the social injustices of his time and he gave talks and readings, wrote pamphlets, plays and letters. In the 1850's Dickens was founding editor of Household World and its successor All the Year Round (1859-70). Although Dickens's career as a novelist recieved much attention, he produced hundreds of his own essays and edited hundreds of others submitted to the various periodicals he edited. Dickens distinguished himself as an essayist in 1834 under the pseudonym Boz.
[Bio as of December 2008]