Has any 19th Century author’s voice has a bigger influence on popular culture today than Charles Dickens? Born in Portsmouth in 1812, Dickens developed a keen and some might say satirical eye from an early age – and you can see how his early life experiences shaped his work.
Dickens worked in boot factories and as a journalist early on in his career. His era was one in which young children worked, and this never truly sat right with him. Not only did Dickens’ books such as Oliver Twist explore the hardships endured by children in this era, but the author himself passionately believed that Victorian children deserved education and greater social reform.Read More
Naturally, Dickens’ gift with the written word made him a persuasive voice in shaping the changes to Victorian society that would develop into Great Britain as we know it today. His gift for mixing dark ideas with a bite of humour and deeply moving prose shaped many of his published works, perhaps the most famous being A Christmas Carol.
To this day, the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge is revisited by every kind of media imaginable, and Dickens’ moral lessons on not letting money and overworking overshadow the better things in life are as relevant today as they were when first published in the 1800s.
Although works such as A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield are often seen as more emotive stories, Dickens is often best known for creating lovably vile villainous characters and rugged street thieves who thrive by their wits.
The mind’s eye can’t help but conjure up smoky chimneys and grubby Londoner’s ruddy cheeks whenever the term ‘Dickensian’ is uttered – a legacy to this prolific author’s impact on fiction and satire alike.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities