tea explain

Level A2: Elementary

Charles dickens stamp

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812. He lived and went to school in Portsmouth where he was very happy. However, shortly after he and his family moved to London in 1822 his parents were sent to prison for not paying bills. Charles was only 12 years old but had to survive working in a dirty factory besides the River Thames and he was very unhappy. Two years later however, his father was out of prison and saved enough money to send his son back to school. After he finished studying at 15, he started working in a lawyer’s office. He hated it! In his books you can see lots of examples of lawyers and he always shows them as horrid people.

In 1833 Charles sold his first story under the secret ‘Pen-Name’ Boz. 3 years later he got married and his stories suddenly became very famous. His first hugely successful story was Oliver Twist, in 1837. It was about poor children in London and it shocked people who didn’t realise how poor children really lived in London. After this he was so famous that people would recognise him in the street as he walked around looking for inspiration for new stories. In 1843 he wrote A Christmas Carol, his most famous book. The main character’s name, Scrooge, is now a recognised word meaning ‘a mean person who does not like spending money’. Charles Dickens was now the most famous novelist in Britain.

Charles had 10 children with his wife Catherine Hogarth but they were not happy and Charles had fallen in love with an actress; so they separated. Charles continued to write. His main goal was to show people what was wrong in England and try to make life better for people, especially children. He used lots of pictures in his books because they helped people follow the stories. Charles always loved being famous and at the age of 56 he went on tour in America to read his books to large audiences. However, when he returned he was very ill and tired. He died 2 years later in his home whilst writing a new book called ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ He was buried in Westminster Abbey.