The life and times of Charles Dickens: timeline

Britain magazine

Charles Dickens is renowned as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian period and has made grand contributions to classic English literature.

Charles John Huffam Dickens is born on 7 February to John and Elizabeth Dickens
Dickens’ father goes to prison for bad debt and Charles has to begin work at a factory to provide for his family
Charles leaves the factory aged 16, after learning shorthand, to start work for an attorney reporting on law cases
Charles’s writing is first published. His work, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, appeared in a monthly publication. He also became a parliamentary journalist for The Morning Chronicle
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He marries Catherine Hogarth and within the same month came the publication of his highly successful first novel The Pickwick Papers
Charles produces his second novel, Oliver Twist, which is now one of the most widely published tales and has been the subject of many television and film reproductionsBritain magazine
Charles produces his novella A Christmas Carol
Alongside his novels, Dickens was also a theatre enthusiast and wrote and performed plays which were, in this year, performed before Queen Victoria
Charles settles in Kent and produces some great works of literature including Great Expectations
Charles meets Ellen Ternan who is working on producing one of his plays and they begin a romantic relationship
Charles becomes estranged from his wife and their 10 children as he travels the world with companions Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins – who inspired Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin DroodBritain magazine
Charles dies of a stroke and is now buried in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Cathedral

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