Charles Dickens Fact File: Lifespan: 1812 – 1870 *** Full Name: Charles Dickens was also known as Charles John Huffam Dicken *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on February 7, 1812 *** Place of Birth: Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England *** Family background: His father was John Dickens *** Early life and childhood: Charles Dickens grew up and spent the majority of his life in London and Kent *** Education: Charles Dickens began his short education at a private elementary school *** Charles Dickens died on June 9, 1870 ***
Charles Dickens Fact 1: Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, England. The address of his birthplace was 1 Mile End Terrace, it is now known as 393 Commercial Road.
Charles Dickens Fact 2: He was a famous English author and literary genius. He is credited for being one of the greatest writers and novelists of the Victorian era. His literary works have received worldwide success and many of his novels remain very popular today.
Charles Dickens Fact 3: He invented some of the most amazing characters which he wrote about in his novels. He was the author of some of the most famous and best-selling books and short stories in the world including Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Hard Times, David Copperfield, Bleak House, The Pickwick Papers.
Charles Dickens Fact 4: He was the second eldest child in his family, having seven brothers and sisters. His parents were called John and Elizabeth Dickens. His father worked for the Navy Pay Office as a clerk.
Charles Dickens Fact 5: He lived in London during his early years until his family relocated to Kent when he was four years old. At the age of nine, his father could afford to send him to school. Unfortunately, his education only lasted a few years as his father was sent to prison for bad debt.
Charles Dickens Fact 6: When his father was imprisoned, his mother and younger brothers and sisters joined his father which was customary at the time. Charles Dickens was twelve years old, he was sent to live with a family friend called Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town.
Charles Dickens Fact 7: His education was no longer affordable, leaving him forced to work long, hard hours at Warren's Blacking Warehouse in order to pay for his lodgings and help support his family financially. He worked on Hungerford Stairs pasting labels on pots of boot blacking. He earned a weekly salary of 6 shillings.
Charles Dickens Fact 8: He didn't enjoy working at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, he was only 12 years old and often had to work ten hour shifts. He was greatly affected by the harsh conditions in which he was forced to work.
Charles Dickens Fact 9: His father was released from prison, he paid off his debts with the help of inheritance he received from his grandmother, Elizabeth Dickens, upon her death. He moved his family to Marshalsea, however, as per his mother's wish, Charles Dickens had to continue working at Warren's Blacking Warehouse. The following quote by Charles Dickens reflects upon his feelings towards the situation and the decision his mother had made, 'I never afterwards forgot, I never shall forget, I never can forget, that my mother was warm for my being sent back'.
Charles Dickens Fact 10: He based many of his future novels and essays upon situations, people and places which he'd encountered during his lifetime. His popular novel, David Copperfield, is his most autobiographical with many elements based upon his own life events.
Charles Dickens Fact 11: He was eventually released from his duties at Warren's Blacking Warehouse and was sent to a school that he didn't enjoy for two years. He attended Wellington House Academy in Camden town where he received a poor education.
Charles Dickens Fact 12: He began working at Ellis and Blackmore's law office in 1827. He worked as a junior clerk for 18 months before leaving to become a freelance reporter.
Charles Dickens Fact 13: One of his biggest passions was visiting the theatre. Sometimes, he would go to the theatre every day! He learned a great deal from watching plays, his favourite actor was Charles Mathews.
Charles Dickens Fact 14: He didn't know exactly what he wanted to do with regards to his career. He wanted to become famous but wasn't sure which pathway to take. He missed an important acting audition at Covent Garden due to illness. Afterwards, he decided to concentrate on a career as a writer.
Charles Dickens Fact 15: The first story that he submitted was called 'A Dinner at Poplar Walk'. He submitted the story to the London periodical Monthly Magazine. He was offered a job by his uncle in the House of Commons on The Mirror of Parliament. His job as a political journalist involved traveling across Great Britain to report on debates and election campaigns.
Charles Dickens Fact 16: He became the editor of Bentley's Miscellany in November 1836. He completed his first novel 'The Pickwick Papers' in the same year and he also began writing the first pages of his second novel 'Oliver Twist', an orphan boy who travels to London where he joins the Artful Dodger and a gang of juveniles.
Charles Dickens Fact 17: He married the daughter of the Evening Chronicle's editor, George Hogarth, in April 1836. Her name was Catherine Hogarth. The couple had ten children together. Their first child, Charley, was born in 1837. Catherine's younger sister, Mary, and her husband moved into their home. Mary died in 1837 leaving Charles Dickens grief stricken. He had become very fond of Mary, even basing one of his characters, Rose Maylie, on her. After she passed away, he was unable to work for a time as his grief was unbearable.
Charles Dickens Fact 18: He began writing 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843. He enjoyed writing the story very much. There were times when he would either laugh or cry as the story unfolded. The novel was first published on December 19, 1843. It was based on Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old man whose character transforms into a kind and gentle person after he is visited by the Ghosts of the Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Charles Dickens Fact 19: He was involved in a train crash on June 9, 1865. The incident became known as the Staplehurst rail crash. Fortunately, Charles Dickens was uninjured as the carriage in which he was traveling was the only one that didn't derail. He helped to rescue people, save lives and attend to the wounded. One of his later stories, 'The Signal-Man', was based upon his experience.
Charles Dickens Fact 20: He died as a result of a stroke on June 9, 1870, exactly 5 years after the Staplehurst rail crash that he'd been involved in. The stroke occurred on June 8 and he died the following day at Gad's Hill Place, Rochester, Kent. He was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey in the Poets' Corner.
Influence & Legacy: Charlies Dickens was a literary genius, one of the greatest writers in the world. He wrote some of the world's most popular and famous novels including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and A Christmas Carol. His literary works are so great that many of his novels have since been made into movies which have received worldwide success.
Short Facts about Charles Dickens for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Charles Dickens with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.