Charles Dickens - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Stories about Charles Dickens

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Picture of Charles Dickens; nineteenth century British Literature / English Literature
Photograph of Charles Dickens taken during his 1867 tour of the United States.
Charles Dickens   (1812 - 1870)
Category:  English Literature
Born:  February 7, 1812
Landport, Portsmouth, England
Died:  June 9, 1870
Gadshill, London, England
Related authors:
E. M. Forster, Edmund Burke, Honore de Balzac, Jeremy Bentham, Wilkie Collins, William Blake
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Charles Dickens - LIFE STORIES
6/6/1832     Bentham, Dickens, Quadrupeds
On this day in 1832 the radical British philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham died. Bentham's Complete Works run to thirty-six volumes, but his most famous connection to literature may be through Charles Dickens. The two shared several enthusiasms -- prison reform, a minimum wage -- but in Hard Times Dickens enjoyed targeting all Gradgrinds and Utilitarians.
6/9/1870     Dickens, Beginning and End
On this day in 1870 Charles Dickens died at the age of fifty-eight. Family and friends report that Dickens was beset by increasing debility and depression throughout his last months. He kept working on Edwin Drood, kept delivering his famous readings, and kept receiving tribute after tribute, but all was colored by a mixture of exhaustion, regret, and memory.
8/29/1833     Blake, Dickens, Trollope & The Factory Act
On this day in 1833, the Mills and Factory Act was passed in England, one of a series of measures to improve the "Health and Morals" of child laborers. The Act allowed a forty-eight-hour work week for children aged nine to twelve, but it brought many changes which the younger Dickens and William Blake's even younger "Chimney Sweeper" would have welcomed.
12/2/1867     Dickens in America
On this day in 1867 Charles Dickens gave the first reading of his American tour. All but a few evenings over the five months were a sell-out, with some sleeping out overnight to beat a ticket line almost a half-mile long. Among the few who were not impressed were Emerson, Twain, and the little girl on the train who told Dickens she liked his books, though "I do skip some of the very dull parts, once in a while; not the short dull parts, but the long ones."
12/17/1847     Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
When Charles Dickens read a parliamentary report on the realities of child labor in the factories of Victorian England, he wrote one of the commissioners that he planned to publish a pamphlet on the issue. A few days later he wrote the commissioner again to say that he had other plans -- "a Sledge hammer" blow for the poor that he could not reveal just yet. This was A Christmas Carol, written in a six-week rush and published at his own expense.
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Charles Dickens Four Complete Novels (Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities)
David Copperfield
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
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Life & Adventures of Michael Armstrong: The Factory Boy
by Frances Trollope
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Charles Dickens - Online Resources
A comprehensive selection of links to electronic texts, reviews and essays offering analysis, criticism, and historical context, pictures, biographies, audio samples, lesson plans, and more. A useful resource for students and teachers.
Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database (New York University)
Offers synopses and commentary from a medical perspective on the novels and short stories including Bleak House, A Christmas Carol, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Old Curiosity Shop, Our Mutual Friend, and "Doctor Marigold."

"A Christmas Carol exemplifies Dickens's vigorous opposition to those Victorian social reformers and businessmen who believed, like Scrooge, that charity encouraged idleness and that the poor should be left to die and 'decrease the surplus population.' This Victorian Malthusianism ... was often accompanied by an individualism that classified all misfortunes as personal failings rather than public problems. Dickens's anti-Malthusian approach to issues like poverty and disability, however, is also worked out in personal and local ways: rather than lobbying for Parliamentary reform, Scrooge acts on his moral rebirth by helping one family."
The Dickens Page
An extensive collection of regularly updated links to Dickens-related websites, including biographies, literary criticism and analysis, images and electronic texts. Also offers the complete online text to The Life of Charles Dickens by John Forster (London: Cecil Palmer, 1872-74), which covers such topics the author's youth and education, fame, and time spent in London, the United States, Genoa, Lausanne, and Paris.
The Dickens Project
"Scholarly consortium devoted to promoting study and enjoyment of the life, times, and work of Charles Dickens." The website features information about conferences, text and video teaching resources, and links to recommended Internet resources.
The Victorian Web
A collection of essays examine the political, religious, social and economics contexts which influenced the life and works of Charles Dickens. Also features biographies, literary criticism and analysis of genre, mode and style, narrative, major themes, characterizations, use of imagery and symbolism, and concordances with other authors (including Charles Baudelair, Thomas Carlyle, John Milton, and William Shakespeare).
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February 23, 2018
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