Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens' short stories and novels continue to delight and entrance readers all over the world. He brilliantly depicted Victorian London, fought for social reform, and created some of the most indelible characters that fiction has ever known -- Oliver, Pip, Scrooge, David Copperfield to name just a few. But today I will be talking about the novel A Christmas Carol, his life, and some of his achievements.
Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, at Landport in Portsea, the second of eight children to John Dickens and Elizabeth Dickens. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office and was temporarily on duty in the district. Very soon after his birth the family moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury, and then, when he was four, to Chatham, Kent, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11. Charles spent time outdoors, but also read a lot, especially the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding. He retaining a strong mental appeal to memories of his childhood helped him have near-photographic memories of people and events, which he used in his writing. His father's brief period as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office gave him a few years of private education, first at a dame-school, and then at a school run by William Giles, a dissenter, in Chatham. At this time life came to an end, because of financial difficulties. The Dickens family moved from Kent to Camden Town in London in 1822. Prone to living beyond his means, John Dickens was imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southward London in 1824. Shortly afterwards, his wife and the youngest children joined him there.
Charles Dickens published over a dozen major novels, a large number of short stories including a number of Christmas-themed stories, a handful of plays, and several non-fiction books. Dickens's novels were initially serialized in weekly and monthly magazines, and then reprinted in...