"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
-- Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"
Charles Dickens was born near Portsmount, England on February 7, 1812. He had a happy childhood until 1823, when his father was sent to prison for debt and he was sent to Warren's Blacking Factory to work. Many of the images of prisons and child labor in his works grew from his experience at Warren's.
When his family situation improved, Dickens returned home and attended the Wellington House Academy. In 1836, he published his first book, "Sketches by 'Boz.' At 24, he started the "Pickwick Papers," a weekly serial publication that carried him into fame. Throughout the next 35 years, Dickens' success would lead him to America and throughout Europe.
The 1850s marked a return to journalism and a more focused look at social injustices. Dickens gave public readings in the United States and England until his breakdown in 1869. "Our Mutual Friend" was his last finished work, while "Edwin Drood" remains unfinished. Dickens died on June 9, 1870.
Dickens remains one of the best known and most popular British novelists of the 19th century due not only to his writings, but to the adaptation of his work on stage and screen.
Dickens on the Web
Offers a bio on Dickens, along with other links, chat rooms and message boards.
Offers bio, literary criticism, excerpts from his daughter's book, famous quotes and more.
The Dickens House Museum
Visit the Dickens House Museum London, which is dedicated to his life and his works. Take a virtual tour of the museum, read about the history of the house and visit various links.
The Dickens Project
Devoted to promoting the study and enjoyment of the life, times, and work of Charles Dickens. The Project consists of faculty and graduate students from the eight general campuses of the University of California as well as from other major American and international universities.
Charles Dickens Gad's Hill Place
In 1860, Dickens set 20 years worth of letters and papers ablaze in his backyard. What did those letters contain? No one knows, but this site will help you learn more about the life and work of the author.