Authors Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

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His father was a clerk in a navy pay office and his mother tried to support the family by tutoring when her husband went to jail because of debt. There were eight children to feed and young Charles earned a shilling a week pasting labels on pots of shoe blacking. He only saw his family on the w eekends and spent the rest of the time roaming the streets of London. He saw many things; some good, some bad, but he especially loved the theatre and did without food so he could go as often as possible.

Without these experiences, we wouldn't have the books he wrote. His own life gave him the background for many of his stories and characters. After his grandmother died, the family was able to use a small inheritance to get back on their feet. After a short stint as a lawyer''s clerk, he joined his father as a newspaper reporter. In 1833 Dickens wrote some humorous sketches for the "Monthly Chronicle" and his literary career was begun.

With the pen name of "Boz", his first real success came with the text he wrote to accompany some drawings of gentlemen touring England. This was the beginning of "Pickwick Papers" and the rest is history. His greatest joy was providing for his family after so many years of hardship.

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