Portal:Charles Dickens

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Charles John Huffam Dickens (/ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. Read more...

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"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known."
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

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

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