It was the best time, it was the worst time, and Charles Dickens wrote down everything – the cruel truths about Victorian England and the dangers of the British class system. His unprecedented fame made him one of the most popular writers of his century, and since then Charles Dickens's books have never been out of print. But the author of Great Expectations, Bleak House and dozens of other works was more than just a writer. Here are 17 facts about Charles Dickens on his 207th birthday.
. 1 Charles Dickens had to work at a young age.
The eldest son of Elizabeth and John Dickens was born on Portsea Island in the British city of Portsmouth in February 1
When his father was summoned back to London as an employee at the Naval Pay Office, the elder Dickens collected so much guilt that the entire family – except Charles and his older sister Fanny – was taken to the debtor prison in Marshalsea (later hired) by Dickens & # 39; novel Little Dorrit ). 19659004 years old, Dickens had to cancel the private school and work in Warren's Blacking Warehouse on the Thames. He earned six shillings a week pasting labels on blackening pots for shoe polish.
. 2 Another job taught Charles Dickens the letter
In 1827 and 1828, 15-year-old Dickens found a job as a junior clerk at the Ellis and Blackmore law firm – but instead of reconstructing legal work for a lawyer, he studied insatiable the notation developed by Thomas Gurney's shorthand allowed him to work as a reporter in the 1830s, where he reported parliamentary and British elections to outlets such as the Morning Chronicle
. Charles Dickens published works under a pseudonym.
The first published works by Dickens appeared in 1833 and 1834 without the author's byline. In August 1834, in his short story "The Boarding House", which was published in Monthly Magazine his chosen pseudonym "Boz" appeared.
The monosyllabic name comes from a childhood reproduction of the character Moses from the Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith's novel of 1766 The vicar of Wakefield later in Dickens's own book A story of two cities mentioned. Dickens called his brother Augustus "Moses" Later, he stated it had been pronounced "faceted by the nose, [and] became Boses and shortened, became Boz. Boz was a very familiar household word to me long before I was a writer and that's why I came to accept it.
The nom de plume became so popular that he published a compilation of his essays and short fiction sketches of Boz in 1839.
4. Charles Dickens' fame preserved a certain idiom.
The phrase "What the Dickens," first mentioned in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor was a euphemism for conjuring the devil. In his book Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit the author John Bowen stated that the name is "a substitute for" the devil "or the two (a card or a dice with two points), doubling the devil in short. "
Dickens allegedly used the pseudonym Boz to distract unsightly comparisons with Satan, but when his real name became known and the public became acquainted with his work, Dickens retained the then 200-year-old phrase en vogue .
Charles Dickens may suffer from epilepsy.
Although signs that he has suffered from epilepsy are not confirmed by current medical records, he often returned to the neurological disorder in his work some speculate that he may have pulled out of his own seizure experiences.
Characters like Guster of Bleak House Mo Oliver Twist and Bradley Headstone Our Mutual Friend all suffered from epilepsy
6. America was not Charles Dickens' favorite place.
When he first traveled to America on a lecture tour in 1842 – later in his travelogue American Notes for General Circulation – Dickens was internationally known for his fame His writing, and he was received as such, as he traveled through East Coast cities like Boston and New York.
"I can not do anything I want to do, go where I want to go, and see nothing I want you to see." He complained in a letter about his trips to the United States. "When I turn onto the road, a lot follows me."
Although he loved the fast-growing cities and was impressed by a trip west into the American prairie, Dickens did not necessarily have the best time of the year. Especially in the country's capital: "As Washington can be described as the headquarters of tobacco tincture," he wrote, "the time has come for me to confess, without any concealment, that these two abominable practices of mastication and ejection predominate It began to be anything but comfortable at about this time, and soon became the most offensive and disgusting. "
. 7 Charles Dickens helped find the lost Sir John Franklin expedition.
The author took advantage of his influence to help Lady Jane Franklin find her husband, Sir John Franklin, who disappeared along with 128 crew members on the HMS in the Arctic Erebus and HMS Terror in the search for the Northwest Passage in 1845. He wrote a two-part analysis of the ill-fated journey titled "The Lost Arctic Voyagers" and held hoping even to raise money across the UK for a rescue mission.
In the end, the missing ships were not found until 2014 or 2016, and various explanations for the fate of the crew were proposed. At the time, however, Dickens gave in to the racist feeling and accused the Inuit of saying, "Nobody can rationalize, claim that this sad remnant of Franklin's brave band was not attacked and killed by the Esquimaux himself … We believe that every savage in his heart is desirous, treacherous and cruel. "Inuit Oral History and other evidence show that Franklin's men actually died of starvation, illness or exposure.
. 8 Charles Dickens perfected the cliffhanger ending.
Most Dickens novels – including classics such as David Copperfield and – Oliver Twist – were initially written monthly, weekly or occasionally in a subscription basis or in magazines, only at a later date complete book form. In doing so, Dickens went from chapter to chapter Cliffhanger to get eager readers to buy subsequent episodes.
In an incident of 1841, American readers were so curious about what was happening in Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop They flocked to the docks in New York Harbor hoping for passengers arriving from Europe to ask if they had read the end of the story and if the character of Nell had died. (Spoiler alert: She did it.)
9. Charles Dickens had a pet trench and kept it around after her death.
Dickens owned a beloved raven, which he called Grip, and it even appears as a character in his novel Barnaby Rudge . In a letter from 1841 to a friend named George Cattermole, Dickens said he wanted the title character of the book "Always in the company of a domestic animal who is immeasurably more knowledgeable than himself." For this purpose, I have studied my bird and think I could make a very strange character out of it.
After the bird's death by eating lead color chips in the same year, Dickens replaced it with another raven, also called Grip. This was supposedly the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven". When the second grip died, Dickens had a taxidermist and mounted the bird in an ornate wooden and glass cabinet that is now in the Free Library of Philadelphia collection
10. Charles Dickens also kept his pet cat awhile.
Not to be outdone by birds, companions of the Dickens cat family also accompanied his entire life. The author once said, "What gift as the love of a cat?
When his cat Bob died in 1862, he had stuffed her paw and mounted it to an ivory letter opener and engraved it with "CD, In Memory of Bob, 1862". The letter opener is now on display in the Berg Collection o f English and American Literature in the New York Public Library.
. 11 Charles Dickens revealed that his first inspiration was the Little Red Riding Hood. In 1850, Dickens began publishing a weekly magazine Household Words to which he also contributed short stories and novels. In one of his first stories for the magazine "A Christmas Tree," Dickens described his earliest muse as a protagonist in the fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood – possibly devoured by unexpected evils when dealing with his own childhood innocence. "She was my first love," he wrote. "I had the feeling that if I could have married Little Red Riding Hood, I would have known perfect bliss. It should not be. "
12th Charles Dickens was not afraid to voice his opinion.
In a letter of 1860 to Florence Marryat, the daughter of his friend Captain Frederick Marryat, Dickens abused her after she had consulted him and submitted a short story for a literary report in his journal All the Year Round .
"Reading professions honestly and giving their author or author a completely unbiased decision on each of them is a task of the order of magnitude you obviously do not have any idea about," Dickens told her. "I can not change […]which seems to me, for example, the fact in relation to this story, just as I can not change my eyesight or my hearing. I do not think it's suitable for my diary ", and later she explains clearly:" I do not think it's a good story. "
. 13 Charles Dickens was a wonderful wordsmith.
Dickens was not the one to be outbid by William Shakespeare. Dickens was the other British writer who was known to create his own words and phrases. Many thanks to Dickens for words and phrases like Butterfinger, Flummox, The Creep, Trash Can, ugsome, slangular, 19459004 and more.
fourteenth Charles Dickens founded a home for "fallen women".
With the aid of billionaire heiress Angela Coutts, Dickens Urania Cottage, a rehabilitation home for homeless women, former prisoners and prostitutes (hopefully) emigrate to the British colonies and are reintegrated into Victorian society.
According to The Guardian Dickens "would often visit the house in Shepherd's Bush several times a week to oversee it, to elect inmates, consult prison inmates, hire and fire Mattresses, dealing with the sewage system and the gardener, detailing what is going on there several times a week, taking care of the money, giving careful written accounts of the girls' backgrounds and arranging their emigration to Australia, South Africa or Canada. "
15th Charles Dickens was a Victorian Ghostbuster.
In an era of séances and media, when many Victorians believed in both spiritualism and science, Dickens did not discriminate. Along with other authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle and William Butler Yeats, he was a member of the Ghost Club, a kind of member group that sought to investigate alleged supernatural encounters and persecutions, often exposing fraud. 19659004] It makes sense to consider that some of Dickens' most famous works, such as A Christmas Carol depend on the supernatural. Unlike Conan Doyle, however, he remained a skeptic.
"My own mind is completely at ease and impressive. I do not in the least pretend that such things are not, "Dickens said in a letter of September 1859 to the writer William Howitt. "But … I have not yet met a ghost story that was proven to me or that did not have the remarkable feature – that changing some minor circumstances would bring them within the range of ordinary natural probabilities."
16 In a train accident, Our Mutual Friend almost derailed.
On June 10, 1865, Dickens traveled home from France when his train derailed as he crossed a bridge and his car dangled from the tracks. After finding a conductor who gave him the keys to the seven first-class railcars that had crashed into the river, the then-53-year-old writer helped save stranded passengers.
Finally, he was forced to climb back into the dangling car to receive a just completed, missing rate from Our Mutual Friend which he should send to his publishers.
17th Charles Dickens was buried against his will at Westminster Abbey.
The author had concrete plans for how he wanted to spend eternity. He initially wanted to bury his sister Catherine, his muse Mary Hogarth (who died in 1837 and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London). Then he asked to be buried in a simple grave in the cemetery of Rochester Cathedral in Kent.
Dickens collapsed at a blow when he dined at home with his other sister, his wife Georgina Hogarth; he died on June 9, 1870. But he did not land at one of his selected locations. Instead, he was abducted to the Poets & # 39; Corner of Westminster Abbey, for the dean of Westminster, Arthur Stanley, wanted a famous Abbey writer to give cultural significance to the abbey at that time.
public announcement about the time or place of my funeral, "Hundreds of thousands of people stood in line to pass his body at Westminster Abbey.