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By: Alexandra and Kaye



1. Life of Charles Dickens

2. important works

3. critique of the industrialisation


His life

  • Born: 7th February, 1812 in Portsmouth, England
  • the second of eight children
  • Family:

John Dickens, father, naval clerk who dreamed of being rich
Elizabeth Barrow, mother
--> family remained poor, despite parents' efforts, though they were not unhappy

  • in 1816, family moved to Chantham
  • in 1822 moved to Camden Town

--> John had a habit to spend more than he had to offer, which led to him being sent to prison for debt in 1824 (Charles was 12).

  • following his father's imprisonment, Charles had to leave school and worked at a boot-blackening factory, until his father received a family inheritance and used it to pay off debts, letting Charles go to school again
  • age 15: left school again, working as an office boy to contribute to his family's income

--> the very launching point for his writing career, felt abandoned by the people who should have helped him
--> became a recurring theme in his writing

  • ~1828 freelance reporting at the law courts of London

--> few years later reporting for two major London newspapers
  • 1833 publishing his first book
  • 1833 married Catherine Hogarth, with whom he had 10 children
  • during the 1850s suffered the loss of his daughter and father, and divorced Catherine
  • Died: 9th June, 1870, in Gads Hill Place, England

"How could I be so easily cast away at such a young age?"

Charles Dickens

thinking back to the moment he said goodbye to his youthful innocence

Important Works

Charles Dickens wrote about child labour during industrial revoulution. He also mentioned three major themes of the 19th century: failure of charity, harsh realities of urban life and problems of capitalism in London.

Oliver Twist (1836):

His most famous "novel" actually was a novella, which talked about poverty in the Victorian Era. He wanted people to help the poor, such as the main character in his novella did.

A Christmas Carol (1843):

He wrote about a fictional city and their living conditions, which had been reality for the working class during the 19th century. It was a place full of exploitation, desperation and appression. The workers worked for many hours and had low wages. He wanted to show people the reality of industrial cities.

Hard Times (1854)

Important Works

In summarization, Dickens wrote 15 books in the years 1836-1870. All of them had a message which critizised the industrial revolution. His first book "The Pickwick Papers" didn't have a "grim" writing style and the critique wasn't in the foreground as much as it was in his other books.

Critique Of The Industrialization

  • Charles Dickens was one of the greatest English novelistst concerned with social reformation
  • industrial revolution often used as the setting of his books (along with the suffering and misery)
  • showcased a society with problems of life during the machine era in "Hard Times"
  • came from early experiences of issues (father's debts and imprisonment) --> shaped his attitude and was reflected in his writing
  • "Oliver Twist" --> describes the issues for the children; how the children of the poor were forced by economic conditions to work
  • mainly focused on the health treatment and well-being of the children

--> didn't want them to feel useless and neglected
The verity of the industrial revolution became a typical theme in his books and novels.

Thank you for listening!

Resources: www.biography.com, Wikipedia