The Greatest of Victorian writers
English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens’s works are characterized by attacks on social evils, injustice, and hypocrisy. He had also experienced in his youth oppression, when he was forced to end school in early teens and work in a factory. Dickens’s good, bad, and comic characters, such as the cruel miser Scrooge, the aspiring novelist David Copperfield, or the trusting and innocent Mr. Pickwick, have fascinated generations oof readers.
Charles Dikens , this greatest of Victorian writers was born in Landport, Portsmouth, on February 7 , during the new industrial age, which gave birth to theories of Karl Marx. His father John worked as a clerk in the Navy Payroll Office in Portsmouth. He was well paid but often ended in financial troubles. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and then to Chatham, where he received some education. The schoolmaster William Giles gave special attention to DDickens, who made rapid progress. In 1824, at the age of 12, Dickens was sent to work for some months at a blacking factory, Hungerford Market, London, while his father John was in Marshalea debtor’s prison. „My father and mother wwere quite satisfied,“ Dickens later recalled bitterly. „They could hardly have been more so, if I had been twenty years of age, distinguished at a grammar-school, and going to Cambridge.“ Later this period found its way to the novel Little Dorritt (1855-57). John Dickens paid his £40 debt with the money he inherited from his mother; she died at the age of seventy-nine when he was still in prison. In 1824-27 Dickens studied at Wellington House Academy, London, and at Mr. Dawson’s school in 1827. From 1827 to 1828 he was a law office clerk, and then a shorthand reporter at Doctor’s Commons. After learning shorthand, he could take down speeches word for word. At the age of eighteen, Dickens aapplied for a reader’s ticket at the British Museum, where he read with eager industry the works of Shakespeare, Goldsmith’s History of England, and Berger’s Short Account of the Roman Senate. He wrote for True Sun (1830-32), Mirror of Parliament (1832-34), and the Morning Chronicle (1834-36). Dickens gained soon the reputation as „the fastest and most accurate man in the Gallery“, and he could celebrate his prosperity with „a new hat and a very handsome blue cloak with velvet facings,“ aas one of his friend described his somewhat dandyish outlook. In the 1830s Dickens contributed to Monthly Magazine, and The Evening Chronicle and edited Bentley’s Miscellany. These years left Dickens with lasting affection for journalism and suspicious attitude towards unjust laws. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays to appeared in periodicals. ‘A Dinner at Poplar Walk’ was Dickens’s first published sketch. It appeared in the Monthly Magazine in December 1833. It made him so proud, that he later told that „I walked down to Westminster Hall, and turned into it for half an hour, because my eyes were so dimmed with joy and pride, that they could not bear the street, and were not fit to be seen there.“ Sketches By Boz, illustrated by George Cruikshank, was published in book form in 1836-37. The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club was published in monthly parts from April 1836 to November 1837.
Dickens’s relationship with Maria Beadnell, the daughter of a banker, whom he had courted for four years, ended in 1833. Three years later Dickens married Catherine Hogart, the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, who edited the newly established EEvening Chronicle. With Catherine he had 10 children. They separated in 1858. Some biographers have suspected that Dickens was more fond of Catherine’s sister, Mary, who moved into their house and died in 1837 at the age of 17 in Dickens’s arms. Eventually she became the model for Dora Copperfield. Dickens also wanted to be buried next to her and wore Mary’s ring all his life. Another of Catherine’s sisters, Georgiana, moved in with the Dickenses, and the novelist fell in love with her. Dickens also had a long liaison with the actress Ellen Ternan, whom he had met by the late 1850s.
Dickens’s sharp ear for conversation helped him to create colorful characters through their own words. In his daily writing Dickens followed certain rules: „He rose at a certain time, he retired at another, and, though no precisian, it was not often that arrangements varied. His hours for writing were between breakfast and luncheon, and when there was any work to be done, no temptation was sufficiently strong to cause it to be neglected. The order and regularity followed him through the day. His mind was essentially methodical, and in his long walks, in his recreations, in his llabour, he was governed by rules laid down for himself – rules well studied beforehand, and rarely departed from. “ (anonymous friend, in Charles Dickens, An Illustrated Anthology, Cresent Books, 1995)
The Pickwick Papers were stories about a group of rather odd individuals and their travels to Ipswich, Rochester, Bath, and elsewhere. It was sold at 1 shilling the installment (1836-37), and opened up a market for similar inexpensive books. Many of Dickens’s following novels first appeared in monthly installments, including Oliver Twist (1837-39). It depicts the London underworld and hard years of the foundling Oliver Twist, whose right to his inheritance is kept secret by the villainous Mr. Monks. Oliver suffers in a poorfarm and workhouse. He outrages authorities by asking a second bowl of porridge. From a solitary confinement he is apprenticed to a casket maker, and becomes a member of a gang of young thieves, led by Mr. Fagin. Finally Fagin is hanged at Newgate and Mr. Barnlow adopts Oliver. NICHOLAS Nickelby (1838-39) was a loosely structured tale of young Nickleby’s struggles to seek his fortune.
David Lean’s dark, atmospheric version of Oliver Twist from 1948 is among the best films made from Dickens’s
novels. Lean’s young thieves are as hard and professional as the brutal gang members of Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados (1950). Alec Guinness played the old, big-nosed Fagin. The caricature upset some Jews in England, as Dickens’s novel had done one hundred and ten years earlier. The Zionists protested that the character was presented in the same way that Jews were vilified in the Nazi paper Der Sturmer. American critics attacked the film’s alleged anti-Semitism, and cuts were made before it wwas shown, with twelve minutes missing, in the American theatres. Lean’s stylised Great Expectations (1946), based on Dickens’s novel, had been a great success in the U.S. „Grandfather would have loved it,“ said Monica Dickens, the granddaughter of the author, of the film. With these works Lean has been considered an authority on Dickens.
A Christmas Carol (1843) is one of Dickens’s most loved works, which has been adapted into screen a number of times. The character of Ebenezer Scrooge, tthe „squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching“ miser, has attracted such actors as Seymour Hicks, Albert Finney, Michael Caine, George C. Scott and Alastair Sim. In a pornography version from 1975 Mary Stewart was „Carol Screwge“. Historical subjects did not much iinterest Dickens. Barnaby Rudge (1841), set at the time of the ‘No Popery’ riots of 1780, and A Tale Of Two Cities (1859) are exceptions. The latter was set in the years of the French Revolution. The plot circles around the look-alikes Charles Darnay, a nephews of a marquis, and Sydney Carton, a lawyer, who both ...
PEOPLE’S HOBBIES AND WEAKNESSES There are many different hobbies and ways to spend weaknesses. Every human likes different things and activities which he does for his pleasure. Hobby and w...·
People on our planet cannot live without travel now. Tourism has become a highly developed business. I had a traveling holiday with my parents when I was very young so I do not remember where...·
The media play a central role in Britain’s daily life, informing and educating, questioning and challenging – and of course – entertaining. In recent years the availability of more radi...·
Dear Sir or Madam, I have just read your advertisement published in todays the Times for taking part in international TV shows. I would like to appear in one of your shows very much. I am a 1...·
1. Everybody has a right to education in Lithuania. The secondary education is compulsory. It is very important that every youngster would attend secondary school. They would be busier and...·