Portal:Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens FRSA (/ˈɑːrlz ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870), pen-name "Boz", was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era, as well as a vigorous social campaigner. Considered one of the English language's greatest writers, he was acclaimed for his rich storytelling and memorable characters, and achieved massive worldwide popularity in his lifetime.

Later critics, beginning with George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton, championed his mastery of prose, his endless invention of memorable characters and his powerful social sensibilities, but fellow writers such as George Henry Lewes, Henry James and Virginia Woolf fault his work for sentimentality, implausible occurrence and grotesque characters.

The popularity of Dickens' novels and short stories has meant that not one has ever gone out of print. Dickens wrote serialised novels, the usual format for fiction at the time, and each new part of his stories was eagerly anticipated by the reading public.

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"Please, sir, I want some more."
Oliver Twist (1837-1839)

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Uriah Heep is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield.

The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and general insincerity. His references to David as "Master Copperfield" are repeated so often that they quickly seem insincere. He is the central antagonist of the later part of the book. David first meets him when he is living with Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes. Uriah explains in another part of the book that his ambition and greed are fueled by his lack of ability to express it during his childhood because of his father who constantly encouraged him to be "humble". This lack of correct psychological and social development perpetuated by his father led Uriah to become the scheming and greedy person he is as an adult. Uriah works as Mr. Wickfield's clerk, and by blackmailing Mr. Wickfield he gains control over most of his life and business. He eventually succeeds in having himself made a full partner in the business. His eventual ambition is to marry Agnes and gain control of the Wickfield fortune. Like most of Dickens' villains, greed is his main motivation. (more...)

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Bleak-house-broadstairs.jpg
Photo credit: Heron
Bleak House in Broadstairs, Kent, where Dickens wrote some of his novels.

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