A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, Oliver Twist and so on- Yes! We are talking about the creator of these world-famous books- Charles Dickens who prompted people with this saying- “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will’.”
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812 – 1870) was an English novelist, social critic, reformer and was generally considered the quintessential author of the Victorian era. His monumental stories, vibrant characters and an exhaustive portrait of modernity are undoubtedly indelible. He was also a pioneer in the series of fiction publications.
Dickens was a patron for the poor. He witnessed the plight of the children; the poor being taken advantage of by the rich and also other social crises and injustices. He convicted an entire nation and set off a social revolution by bringing these social necessities of real-life experience, into story form with the precise and not to mention, memorable characters which seem real and credible like Oliver Twist.
“Dickens can be said to have almost single handedly created the modern idea of Christmas”, stated Peter Ackroyd in his biography of Dickens. His stories were something more than mere entertaining like. For example, A Christmas Carol, the heart-touching story of Dickens helped the Christmas holiday grow into what we have today.
Another astounding fact is, from a very early age, Dickens knew he wanted to be a gentleman. But sadly, life was not easy for young Charles Dickens. His family was constantly on the brink of financial and social disaster. So, he did not get the chance of formal education but was sent to work in Warren’s blacking factory and endured terrible conditions as well as loneliness and despair and his father went to prison for debt. These thunderbolts deeply affected Charles.
However, he then became a clerk in a solicitor’s office, then a shorthand reporter in the law court and finally, a parliamentary and newspaper reporter like other members of his family.
Dickens had a strong belief in himself as he portrayed, “I have been bent and broken, but I hope into a better shape.” He is the one who says, “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
Dickens’ literary success began with the serial publication of ‘The Pickwick Papers’ in 1836. And from this stage, there was no looking back for him. He then gradually gifted us those amazing, unforgettable nobles mentioned earlier.
In addition to a large list of autobiography novels, he edited weekly periodicals, including ‘Household Words’ and All Year Round,’ wrote travel books and also directed charitable organizations. He inspired us by saying, “Charity begins at home and justice begins at the next door.”
And another story about him is that he bought the house named ‘Gad’s Hill Place’ 35 years later that he admired as a child of 9 years old. He teaches us, “never say never.”
During his lifetime, Dickens enjoyed greater success than any previous author for his simple, sophisticated and accessible writing style. Though there were some other side stories or disputed issues in his life, he let us feel the spirit of Christmas in our heart even for a day or an hour with the universal spirit of his novels.
Last but not the least, Charles Dickens has taught us we are defined by our deed rather than other circumstances of our life.