On this day 200 years ago, Charles Dickens was born in Portsea, England. He spent his childhood years in Kent, where he enjoyed an almost idyllic early childhood and read voraciously. Then financial disaster struck the family and his father was sent to debtor’s prison . Charles was sent to live with other families. He began working ten-hour days in a shoe polish processing plant, where working conditions were dreadful. He later worked as a clerk for an attorney’s office in Gray’s Inn. These life experiences form the basis for many of Dickens’ novels.
In spite of these modest, sometimes impoverished, beginnings, Charles became one of the world’s most successful, famous and beloved authors. Many of his novels are considered among the best of all time and have been made into plays, movies, and television programs. Some of his best-known works are David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and various short stories.
Click the link for a list of Dickens’s works in our libraries.