Saturday, June 2, 2012

Featured Author for June - Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

  February 7, 1812
  June 9, 1870
Main genres:
  Literature & Fiction

     Generally regarded as the greatest novelist in the Victorian Era, Charles Dickens created some of the world's most memorable characters. One of the few classic authors whose works were appreciated during his lifetime, it wasn't until the 20th century that his books were widely accepted and praised by critics and scholars. By the age of 12, Dickens was forced to leave school and work 10 hours a day in a warehouse to help support his family. While reading any of Dickens' novels it is hard to believe that he had so little formal education. He was primarily a self-taught man, as he was a voracious reader and possessed a photographic memory.

     Many of his remarkable characters are based on actual people in his life, or at the least named after them. Many have considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awareness to their plight. He had a no holds barred attitude, bringing the abuse and unfairness that the poor endured into the light instead of sweeping it under the rug. He was a crusader for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.

     Dickens is credited with pioneering serial publication. He would publish his books a chapter at a time to get feedback from his audience then change the plots or characters accordingly. The illiterate poor would chip in and pay to have the chapters read to them, which inspired many to learn to read and opened up a new class of reader.

     My introduction to Charles Dickens had been from my mother. She had bought me a set of illustrated classics for children when I was just knee high to a grasshopper. I can't quite recall if it had been Great Expectations or A Tale of Two Cities which I had read first, but I was soon a fan of both stories.

This month I plan to review:

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