Writer and social critic Charles Dickens is one of the well-loved authors in the world and the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His appeal shows no signs of fading even after 148 years after his death, with his books remaining in print all around the world. He was recognized as a literary genius to the critics and scholars by the 20th century.
Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school at the age of 12. He was sent to work in a factory to help support the family since his father was imprisoned for debt. This event put a strain on his psyche. 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 readings extensively. He was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned for children`s rights, education, and other social reforms for which he has suffered earlier. Besides, he had also worked as a reporter and used to cover the Parliament
He is well-celebrated for some of his well-known novels such as A Tale of Two Cities, Hard Times, Great Expectations, Davis Copperfield, etc. He has created some of the most iconic literary characters of all time, and enjoyed unprecedented success during his own lifetime. The Oxford English Dictionary credits Dickens for introducing 247 new words or new usages into the language.
It is said that he left his wife and took the children to another house after declaring his wife incompetent as a mother. After his daughter Mary`s death, Dickens had made arrangements for himself to be buried next to her. He missed his daughter so much that he began to carry a lock of her hair with him. He also kept all her clothes and spent hours staring at them.
He fell in love with a young theatre actress, Ellen `Nelly` Ternan. He had also claimed that the idea for A Tale of Two Cities came into his mind while working scenes with her on stage. She became his secret companion for the rest of his life.
On this day of June 9, 1870, the great Victorian novelist and social campaigner died. He was buried amid great ceremony in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. His grave was left open for two days for thousands of his fans. On the death anniversary of this great writer, we remember him with huge reverence.