Charles Dickens Biography Essay

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Charles Dickens, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens, was born in Landport on 7th February 1812. John Dickens worked as a clerk at the Navy pay office in Portsmouth. He later found work in Chatham and Charles, the second of seven children, went to the local school.

John Dickens found it difficult to provide for his growing family on his meager income. In 1822 the family moved to Camden Town in London. John Dickens' debts had become so severe that all the household goods were sold. Still unable to satisfy his creditors, John Dickens was arrested and sent to Marshalsea Prison.

Charles, now aged twelve, found work at Warren's Blacking Factory, where he was paid six shillings a week wrapping shoe-black bottles. Six months after being
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Unlike most radical newspapers such as the Poor Man's Guardian and The Gauntlet, the True Sun did pay the 4d. stamp duty.

Despite having to charge the heavy tax imposed on newspapers, the True Sun sold 30,000 copies a day. In his articles, Dickens used his considerable knowledge of what went on in the House of Commons to help promote the cause of parliamentary reform. Charles Dickens was pleased when Parliament eventually agreed to pass the 1832 Reform Act, however, like most radicals, he thought it did not go far enough. The new reformed House of Commons passed a series of new measures including a reduction in newspaper tax from 4d. to 1d. As a result, the circulation of the True Sun increased to over 60,000.

In 1833 Dickens had his first story published in the Monthly Magazine. Using the pen-name of 'Boz', Dickens also began contributing short stories to the Morning Chronicle and the Evening Chronicle. These stories were so popular that they were collected together and published as a book entitled Sketches by Boz (1836).

The publisher, William Hall, now commissioned Dickens to write The Pickwick Papers in twenty monthly installments. This was followed by Oliver Twist, published in Bentley's Miscellany (1837-38) and Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), also published monthly. Dickens was now the most popular writer in Britain and over the next few years he wrote a series of popular
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