(Enid) (1915-1992) English writer. Her first books were humorous accounts of her experiences in various jobs, beginning as a cook (One Pair of Hands 1939); she went on to become a novelist. She was a great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens.
(1812-1870) English novelist. He is enduringly popular for his memorable characters and his portrayal of the social evils of Victorian England. In 1836 he published the first number of the Pickwick Papers, followed by Oliver Twist 1838, the first of his “reforming” novels; Nicholas Nickleby 1839; Barnaby Rudge 1841; The Old Curiosity Shop 1841; and David Copperfield 1849. Among his later books are A Tale of Two Cities 1859 and Great Expectations 1861.
Born in Portsea, Hampshire, the son of a clerk, Dickens received little formal education, although a short period spent working in a blacking factory in S London, while his father was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea prison during 1824, was followed by three years in a private school. In 1827 he became a lawyer’s clerk, and then after four years a reporter for the Morning Chronicle, to which he contributed the Sketches by Boz. In 1836 he married Catherine Hogarth, three days after the publication of the first number of the Pickwick Papers. Originally intended merely as an accompaniment to a series of sporting illustrations, the adventures of Pickwick outgrew their setting and established Dickens’ reputation. In 1842 he visited the US, where his attack on the pirating of English books by American publishers chilled his welcome; his experiences are reflected in American Notes and Martin Chuzzlewit 1843. In 1843 he published the first of his Christmas books, A Christmas Carol, followed 1844 by The Chimes, w
ritten in Genoa during his first long sojourn abroad, and in 1845 by the even more successful Cricket on the Hearth. A venture as editor of the Liberal Daily News 1846 was short-lived, and Dombey and Son 1848 was largely written abroad. David Copperfield, his most popular novel, appeared 1849 and contains many autobiographical incidents and characters. Returning to journalism, Dickens inaugurated the weekly magazine Household Words 1850, reorganizing it 1859 as All the Year Round; many of his later stories were published serially in these periodicals. In 1857 Dickens met the actress Ellen Ternan and in 1858 agreed with his wife on a separation; his sister-in-law remained with him to care for his children. In 1858 he began giving public readings from his novels, which proved such a success that he was invited to make a second US tour 1867. Among his later novels are Bleak House 1853, Hard Times 1854, Little Dorrit 1857, and Our Mutual Friend 1865. Edwin Drood, a mystery story influenced by the style of his fri
end Wilkie Collins, was left incomplete on his death.
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