The Work of Charles Dickens
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List of Books, Novels and Short Stories by Charles Dickens
Wondering what books Dickens wrote? He wrote 15 novels. He also wrote short stories, essays, articles and novellas. Here is a comprehensive Charles Dickens book list that includes novels, novellas and short stories.
Barnaby Rudge was the first novel that Dickens planned to write, but it didn't work out. Maybe that's a good thing. One biographer calls Barnaby Rudge, "The least-read — and least-attractive — novel in the Dickens canon.”
Bleak House dramatizes the flaws in the British Court of Chancery. The novel also has the odd distinction of being perhaps the only work of classic literature featuring a character who dies by spontaneous combustion.
David Copperfield held a special place in Dickens’s heart. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, “like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.”
Dombey and Son
If Dombey and Son, Dickens's seventh novel, were written today people would say that it deals with the topic of feminism. Why? The focus of the novel is on what happens when Dombey has a daughter instead of the desired son.
In Great Expectations, Pip, like Dickens himself, dreams of becoming a gentleman. However, during the novel, Pip comes to realize that there is more to life than wealth and station.
Hard Times takes an unsympathetic look at Utilitarianism. This no-nonsense movement relied heavily on statistics, rules and regulations. Individualism and imagination are not highly valued in this philosophy.
The Marshalsea debtors' prison plays a large part in Little Dorrit. What very few people knew was that Dickens's father had been sent to Marshalsea for three months.
Martin Chuzzlewit was written after Dickens traveled to America in 1842. The United States left quite an impression on Dickens, a very unfavorable impression.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Dickens was working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood when he passed away. How would he have ended the novel?
Dickens’s own mother, Elizabeth Dickens, was the model for the always-confused Mrs. Nickleby. Luckily she didn’t recognize herself in the character. In fact, she asked someone if they “really believed there ever was such a woman”.
The Old Curiosity Shop
The death of Little Nell traumatized Dickens. As he was writing the novel, he felt as though he were experiencing the death of one of his children. It also brought back painful memories of the death of his sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth.
In June of 1837 something happened that only occurred once in Dickens’s career. He missed a deadline. There was no Pickwick. There was no Oliver Twist. Instead, there was a funeral.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
Our Mutual Friend is the last novel that Charles Dickens completed before his death. An interesting feature of the novel is its focus on the "dust" business.
The Pickwick Papers
Dickens addressed a very serious subject in the comedic Pickwick Papers, that of the injustice of the justice system. Dickens had a firsthand look at the legal system when he worked as a law clerk. Sadly, he didn't like what he saw.
A Tale of Two Cities
A play, The Frozen Deep, was the inspiration for A Tale of Two Cities. In 1857 Not only did it give Dickens the idea for A Tale of Two Cities, the play brought about lasting changes to Dickens's life in the form of Ellen Ternan.
In December 1833, Charles Dickens's first literary effort was published. It was a sketch or essay entitled A Dinner at Poplar Walk. Other sketches soon followed. Dickens wanted a memorable way of identifying the sketches as his. What would be a good pen name?
Placing a Value on Old Books
What would you do if you were cleaning the attic and found an old volume of Oliver Twist or Great Expectations? You'd probably wonder how much it was worth! Here are some resources that can help.