The Work of Charles Dickens
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Barnaby Rudge was actually the first novel that Dickens planned on writing. But maybe it's a good thing that didn't work out. One biographer calls Barnaby Rudge, "The least-read — and least-attractive — novel in the Dickens canon.”
Where do the X-Files and literature combine? Bleak House! This novel has the odd distinction of being perhaps the only work of classic literature featuring a character that 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.”
See why one Dickens expert says, “Dombey and Son is the closest Dickens ever came to writing a feminist novel.”
In Great Expectations Pip, like Dickens himself, dreams of becoming a gentleman. However during the course of the novel Pip comes to realize that there is more to life than wealth and station.
An interesting piece of trivia is that Hard Times is the shortest of all of Dickens's novels.
The Marshalsea debtor's 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.
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, comic Mrs. Nickleby. Luckily for Charles she didn’t recognize herself in the character. In fact she asked someone if they “really believed there ever was such a woman”.
Dickens was traumatized by the death of Little Nell. As he was writing it 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 was the fourteenth and last completed novel of Charles Dickens. He began writing it in 1863.
Dickens works a very serious subject into 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 play, The Frozen Deep, was the inspiration for A Tale of Two Cities. In 1857 Dickens acted in the play. Not only did it give him 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' 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?
What exactly did Dickens write? See a list of novels and short stories by Dickens.
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.