Charles-John-Huffam-Dickens-(1812-1870)-was-a-writer-and-social-critic-who-created-some-of-the-world’s-best-known-fictional-characters-and-is-regarded-as-the-greatest-novelist-of-the-Victorian-era.-His-works-enjoyed-unprecedented-popularity-during-his-lifetime,-and-by-the-twentieth-century-critics-and-scholars-had-recognised-him-as-a-literary-genius.-His-novels-and-short-stories-enjoy-lasting-popularity.

Dickens-left-school-to-work-in-a-factory-when-his-father-was-incarcerated-in-a-debtors’-prison.-Despite-his-lack-of-formal-education,-he-edited-a-weekly-journal-for-20-years,-wrote-15-novels,-five-novellas,-hundreds-of-short-stories-and-non-fiction-articles,-lectured-and-performed-extensively,-was-an-indefatigable-letter-writer,-and-campaigned-vigorously-for-children’s-rights,-education,-and-other-social-reforms.

Dickens-was-regarded-as-the-literary-colossus-of-his-age.-His-1843-novella,-A-Christmas-Carol,-remains-popular-and-continues-to-inspire-adaptations-in-every-artistic-genre.-Oliver-Twist-and-Great-Expectations-are-also-frequently-adapted,-and,-like-many-of-his-novels,-evoke-images-of-early-Victorian-London.-His-1859-novel,-A-Tale-of-Two-Cities,-set-in-London-and-Paris,-is-his-best-known-work-of-historical-fiction.-Dickens’s-creative-genius-has-been-praised-by-fellow-writers—from-Leo-Tolstoy-to-George-Orwell-and-G.-K.-Chesterton—for-its-realism,-comedy,-prose-style,-unique-characterisations,-and-social-criticism.-On-the-other-hand,-Oscar-Wilde,-Henry-James,-and-Virginia-Woolf-complained-of-a-lack-of-psychological-depth,-loose-writing,-and-a-vein-of-saccharine-sentimentalism.-The-term-Dickensian-is-used-to-describe-something-that-is-reminiscent-of-Dickens-and-his-writings,-such-as-poor-social-conditions-or-comically-repulsive-characters.

On-8-June-1870,-Dickens-suffered-another-stroke-at-his-home-after-a-full-day’s-work-on-Edwin-Drood.-He-never-regained-consciousness,-and-the-next-day-he-died-at-Gad’s-Hill-Place.-Contrary-to-his-wish-to-be-buried-at-Rochester-Cathedral-“in-an-inexpensive,-unostentatious,-and-strictly-private-manner,”-he-was-laid-to-rest-in-the-Poets’-Corner-of-Westminster-Abbey.-A-printed-epitaph-circulated-at-the-time-of-the-funeral-reads:-“To-the-Memory-of-Charles-Dickens-(England’s-most-popular-author)-who-died-at-his-residence,-Higham,-near-Rochester,-Kent,-9-June-1870,-aged-58-years.-He-was-a-sympathiser-with-the-poor,-the-suffering,-and-the-oppressed;-and-by-his-death,-one-of-England’s-greatest-writers-is-lost-to-the-world.”-His-last-words-were:-“On-the-ground”,-in-response-to-his-sister-in-law-Georgina’s-request-that-he-lie-down.