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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"But charity begins at home, and justice begins next door."
Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844)

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The Duke of Marlborough Signing the Despatch at Blenheim.

Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character in Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. He is a cold-heart ed, tight foisted, selfish man, who despises Christmas and all things which engender happiness. A quote from the book reads "The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice ..."

His last name has come into the English language as a byword for miserlioness and misanthropy, traits displayed by Scrooge in the exaggerated manner for which Dickens is well-known. The story of his transformation by the three Ghosts of Christmas (Past, Present, and Yet to Come) has become a defining tale of the Christmas holiday. Scrooge's catchphrase, "Bah, humbug!" is often used to express disgust with many of the modern Christmas traditions. (more...)

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Gill-Dickens.jpg
Image credit: L'Eclipse
Caricature of Charles Dickens, 1868.

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