Rediscovering the Genius of Charles Dickens: A Biographical Review


Charles Dickens is a name that is synonymous with classic literature and timeless storytelling. He is an author that has captivated readers for generations and continues to do so with his enduring works. However, amidst the many accolades that he has received, there is often a lack of understanding about the man behind the masterpieces. In this biographical review, we delve into the life of Charles Dickens to rediscover the genius behind his extraordinary literary achievements.

Born on February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth, England, Charles Dickens had a modest upbringing. He was the second of eight children and his family struggled financially, which forced him to drop out of school at the age of 12 and work in a factory. Little did he know that this experience would later inspire some of his most famous works, such as “Oliver Twist.” Despite his lack of formal education, Dickens was a voracious reader and self-taught himself many subjects, including shorthand and the law, which would also play a significant role in his writing.

Despite his early setbacks, Dickens’ determination and talent for writing soon landed him a job as a reporter for a London newspaper. His love for literature and the city of London would shape his future career as he began publishing his work in various magazines. In 1836, at the age of 24, Dickens published his first novel, “The Pickwick Papers,” which became an instant success and marked the beginning of his illustrious career as a novelist.

As his fame and popularity grew, Dickens used his platform to advocate for social issues and bring attention to the harsh realities of Victorian England. His works often revolved around themes of poverty, injustice, and the struggles of the working class, which were all prevalent in society at the time. In fact, his writing was so influential that it brought about social change and led to several reforms, including child labor laws.

Aside from his work as a novelist, Dickens was also an accomplished public speaker and performer. He embarked on several reading tours throughout his career, where he would entertain audiences with dramatic recitations of his own work. His dynamic and theatrical performances were a testament to his incredible storytelling abilities and showcased his deep understanding of human nature and emotions.

Despite his success, Dickens faced personal challenges throughout his life, including a troubled marriage and financial difficulties. However, he never let these setbacks affect his writing, and it was through his struggles that he found inspiration for some of his most beloved characters. For example, the character of Mrs. Micawber in “David Copperfield” was modeled after Dickens’ own mother, who was known for her cheerful optimism despite their family’s financial struggles.

Sadly, Dickens’ life was cut short at the age of 58 due to a stroke. However, his legacy lives on through his timeless works, which continue to be celebrated and studied by readers and scholars worldwide. With over 15 novels, countless short stories, and novellas, Dickens’ writing has stood the test of time and continues to resonate with readers of all ages.

In conclusion, Charles Dickens was more than just a literary genius; he was a social commentator, a performer, and a storyteller who had a deep understanding of human nature and the intricacies of society. Through his works, he shed light on the struggles of the common man, and in doing so, he transformed the landscape of Victorian literature. As we continue to rediscover his genius, it is evident that Dickens’ contributions to literature and society will continue to impact and inspire generations to come.