Charles Dickens (1812-70) is one of the most recognized celebrities of English literature. His imagination, wit, mastery of the language and huge creative output single him out as one of the few people who genuinely deserve to be called genius. He had a poverty-stricken childhood and was determined to improve himself. By his early twenties he found a job as a parliamentary reporter and in his spare time wrote sketches of London life for newspapers and magazines. The publication of Pickwick Papers (1836) brought him the fame and fortune he craved. He wrote many other famous books including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.