INTERESTING FACTS AND INFORMATION
The writer of poverty, injustice, comedy and crime.
V I C T O R I A N AU T H O R ´
• Charles Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812 in Portsmouth.
The Victorian age in British history is named
after Queen Victoria, who was Britain's queen
from 1837 until 1901.
What was life like for Victorian children? There
were big differences in homes, schools, toys and
entertainments. No TV, no computers, no
central heating, no cars only horse and carriage
(until the last few years of Victoria's reign). No
air travel - unless you went up in a balloon!
Many children went to work, not to school.
The Industrial Revolution (the era of rapid and
great change in industry and manufacturing with
the growth of factories- 1700) changed Britain
from a land of small towns, villages and farms to a
land of cities, large towns and factories. The
population grew from 16 million in 1801 to over
41 million in 1901. Cities grew fast as people
moved from the countryside to work in factories.
Men, women and children worked in factories and
in coal mines. Factory and mine owners became
rich but workers were very poor. They were paid
low wages and lived in unhealthy, overcrowded
THE LIFE OF CHARLES
Charles Dickens came from a poor
family but he was lucky enough to attend
school. Unfortunately, his father was jailed
for having ´bad debts´ so Dickens was
forced to leave school early and start
working in a boots polish factory. He
worked here for three years and the
conditions were very bad resulting in
Dickens suffering with lonliness as a
At the beginning Dickens called
himself ´Boz´, this was his penname.
Dickens started to write as a journalist. He
contributed articles to journals called ´The Mirror of
Parliament´and ´The True Sun´. In 1833 he was
employed as a parliamentary reporter for a
newspaper and started to produce a series of
sketches. Later in 1836, a story by Dickens ´The
Pickwick Papers´was published as a seriel. This
became very popular and Dickens began to become
famous. In 1836 Dickens also married Catherine
Hogarth who was the daughter of one of his editors.
Charles Dickens went on to produce a massive amount of material
during his lifetime. He published fifteen novels, wrote hundreds of
short stories and non-fiction pieces, lectured and performed both in
England and in the United States, wrote plays, wrote thousands of
letters and edited two journals.
OFFSPRING AND DEATH
After having ten children together,
Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth
separated in 1858.
Charles Dickens died on 9th June
1870. He suffered a stroke after
completing a full day’s work on his novel
in progress, Edwin Drood. He was buried
in Poet’s Corner of Westminister Abbey.
WHAT THE DICKENS ?
Dickens was interested in the paranormal. He was a member of The Ghost
In 1865 Charles Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst Rail Crash. His
was the only first class carriage to avoid running off the tracks. Apparently,
Dickens helped many of the wounded passengers before rescuers arrived.
Charles Dickens has appeared on the British £10 note.
Dickens kept a pet raven called Grip, which he had stuffed when he died in
He was eccentric and was an obessive compulsive, reportedly always re-
arranging his hotel furniture and having to sleep with his head facing north.
He supported the use of hypnotism and attempted to use it to cure his wife
In his study he had a secret door which was designed like a bookcase filled
with fake books.
Dickens had almost demonic energy. Often unable to sleep, he would take
long night walks through the streets of London.
CHARLES DICKENS NOVELS
The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
The Old Curiosity Shop
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty
A Christmas Carol
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
The Cricket on the Hearth
The Battle of Life
Dombey and Son
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain
Hard Times: For These Times
A Tale of Two Cities
Our Mutual Friend
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (never completed by Dickens)
Nicholas Nickleby is an early novel of Charles Dickens and
is a melodramatic tale of the adventures of a young man as he
struggles to find fortune in Victorian England.
The novel critises society´s bad treatment of children and
the cruelty of the education system.
This book was originally published in 20 monthly
installments under ´Boz´Dicken´s pen-name and came out as a
book in 1839.
The story of Nicholas Nickleby is about a 19 year old boy whose father
dies. When this happens his uncle, Ralph Nickleby who is a mean-spirited
money lender , makes him become an assistant teacher at Dotheboys Hall.
The school is run by the Head Teacher Wackford Squeers who is very
unkind and is very creul to the children that attend the school.
Angry by Squeers bad treatment of the boys, Nickleby attacks Squeers
and then runs away, taking the little boy who is the main victim Smike with
him. Nickleby and Smike become involved in lots of adventures while
Ralph Nicklby makes evil plots against Nicholas his nephew. The book uses
comedy and dark subject matters and is a sharp and moving social critique.
NICHOLAS NICKLEBY FILM
Listen to the plot overview, what can