The Life of Charles Dickens
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Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on the 7th of February 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles was the second child of eight sibblings in all six of whom, survived to adulthood. John, a naval clerk, always spent beyond his means. One day, he pointed at a house to Charles remarking that he could live in such a house, if he worked hard. The family moved to London in 1822. At twelve, as the family finances worsened, Charles had to start work in a blacking factory labelling bottles for eleven hours at day. John Dickens was eventually sent to a debtor's prison, Charles visited him there every Sunday. His youth left him with an ambitious drive In 1827 he began work as a solicitor's clerk. From the surroundings of his unremarkable office he began to collect names and characteristics of the people he saw. Charles began a journalistic career in 1831. Writing became his passion, working for the paper by day and on his own work by night. even beginning to taste success. His first piece of fiction was published in 1835. That same year, Charles met Catherine Hogarth They fell in love and were married. The next few years of fervent activity resulted in much writing and many children. As his writing became more popular and his fame more widespread, rumours began to abound of his drunkenness and admission to an asylum. Stories were easy to concoct about the writer who kept a pet raven and whose writing dealt in the extremes of the sentimental and the grotesque. In 1842 Charles and Catherine set sail for America. On landing in Boston, they were mobbed by crowds. Dicken´s interest lay in visiting the unusual which inspired his writing. He took his whole family on his next big trip to Italy in the summer of 1844. Upon his return, Dickens began to look for new diversions. He helped to start and edit a radical newspaper, founded a refuge for homeless women and performed his works at public readings. Aged 44, Charles bought Gad's Hill, the house his father had pointed out to him all those years before. It symbolized the pinnacle of achivement. Whilst Dickens was organising a theatrical project " The Frozen Deep", he met and was spellbound by a young actress, Ellen Ternan. There is much speculation about this relationship, that caused the end of his marriage to Catherine. One fateful night in 1865, whilst Charles and Ellen were returning from Paris, their train crashed at Staplehurst. Dickens administered brandy and water to the injured and dying. Only at the last minute did he remember to retrieve the final part of 'Our Mutual Friend' from the wrecked carriage. The incident left Charles very shaken. For a while he maintained his busy itinerary Then his health began to fail. At home, on Wednesday, 9th June, 1870, at the age of 58, Charles suffered a stroke and died. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.
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