Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens 3

A photograph of one Charles Dickens penning what was to become one of his many collections of words and phrases, known by certain laymen as a "novel".

“I can't read that much Dickens. I start getting the urge to commit suicide.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens, a man who is generally deserving of such praise as is warranted in an article such as this, as he is a man (a fact which I need not reiterate, as it is quite obvious given his gender) of great literary stature, given his masterful - for some would deign to call it so - control of the English Language, as is demonstrated without hesitation and without fail in his writing, which many scholars believe to be among the best written in the aforementioned language. There are some, however, particularly in the counties of Hampshire and Wessex - for those counties are well-known throughout the British Isles, and to a lesser, but similar extent on the continent, for their ignorance - as generally being what some rather uneducated persons would refer to as a "hack", for such is the term that certain people use to describe a writer for whom they have little or no favor, or have completely become disillusioned with.

Most, however, regard Dickens as a sort of "hero of the language", for it is indeed because of his masterful manipulations of the language that we are afforded the enlightenment that Dickens provided us, particularly on such sensitive subjects - for that is what they are referred to among the "politically correct", a sect which Dickens would have no part whatsoever - as the French Revolution and London's workhouses. Many of his protractors enjoy pointing out the fact that none of his books have ever gone out of print - for such is the standard practice for a publisher when a novel or author falls out of public favor - to his detractors, which happens to be a simple statement from which they cannot recover. Interestingly enough, select members of Dickens' detractors, including the likes of Virginia Woolf and Henry James, who have both been outspoken critics of Dickens' prose style - which they describe as "convoluted", but any educated Englishman can tell that it is quite the opposite - have never enjoyed the same kind of commercial success during their lifetimes as Dickens had.

Biography

Early Life

Charles Dickens, being the man about whom this article is written, was delivered by his mother - who bore him for nine months - on February 7th, 1812 in Portsmouth, a town which is generally regarded as being one of the premier towns of the West Midlands, Wolverhampton and Manchester notwithstanding. His father - for his mother was indeed a woman of fidelity, and Charles was indeed a legitimate child - Was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, a job which John - for that was indeed his name - often described as "boring, superfluous, and above all, droll." His father and mother, being rather promiscuous people - with each other, at least, as is in keeping with a faithful relationship - were to bear six children after Charles, bringing their grand total of children to eight, counting of course the one child born before Charles, whose name has not been mentioned because it is, frankly speaking, not all that important.

His parents, being very transient people, consistently and continuously moved their large family up and down the British Isles - for even though they were transient people, they could not stand to leave their home country - until they finally settled in a district of London known as Camden Town, a district which has since become known for its rampant prostitution and dealings in Marijuana. It has never been proven by historians - who have dug deeply and thoroughly, rest assured - that the former presence of Charles Dickens has driven the residents to such madness, but many of said aforementioned residents vehemently assert that it is so.

Dickens eventually decided to matriculate at Oxford University, being that it was indeed the foremost institution for the study of the English Language in the British Isles at the time. While pursuing his rather fervent course of study at Oxford - it can be said of him, in fact, that he was among the most studious of pupils, considering his own unrelenting desire to become a different man than his father, who was laying at home quite inebriated at the time - he met and befriended a one Henry James, a man who, ironically enough, would become his rival in years to come, as Dickens further explored the vast complexities of the English language, which was the primary medium for his art.

Writing Career

Charles Dickens readingsession

Dickens at a particularly long reading session, during which his characteristic diction caused brain hemorrhages in three people.

After graduating from Oxford - which was inevitable due to the finite nature of a university education - the young and vivacious Charles took up work at the local newspaper known as the Morning Chronicle, a paper which is known in the towns of Oxford and Cambridge, and to a lesser extent in York and Cornwall, for having thorough and scandalous coverage of certain national celebrities. It became Charles' job, for as he was new in the office and had no seniority his bosses would not let him choose his own stories, to cover the local election campaigns, an occupation for which Charles would eventually garner a hefty amount of disdain. Charles was never a fan of politics, being that politics, much like gambling, which Charles ironically enjoyed, was a constant game of chance, in which a man could veritably lose everything with one wrong move or statement.

It was, however, even more ironically, his time at the Morning Chronicle which would give him his inspiration for his first book, the title of which was The Pickwick Papers, a novel which centered around a one Mr. Pickwick and his founding of a self-named club, and their subsequent papers. There is, of course, more to the novel then that, as there is always more to a novel then what the author originally lets be known, but one cannot always divulge all of the information on a given subject. On occasion, the reader, being a man (for this is most likely the case) of intelligent and sound mind and body, must search for the answers to his inquiries on his own terms, as opposed to having his answers fed to him like so much porridge.

More developed work - for stylistic development is the ultimate goal of any writer - was soon to follow, including such monumental works, for that is what they are referred to as by the elite of literature, as A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield. He was a very consistent writer, and published many more works than his contemporaries, some of whom would only publish two or three books in a lifetime, being that they suffered from extreme writer's block, a condition which Dickens, thankfully, never had to endure.

Dickens continued to write throughout his life, and was only stopped by his inevitable death at the age of 58, which is an unfortunately young age for one to die, as death is indubitably final. His writing did slow, however, in the years before his death, as is the case with many authors, because he became more focused on his stylistic development and less on publishing a large volume of work - which his earlier writings could certainly be characterized as. It has been rumored by some of his detractors that Dickens was paid a penny for each word that he wrote, which caused his prose to be so long and lugubrious, for that is what they describe his writing as, but that is of course preposterous, due of course to the fact that Dickens died without a single penny to his name, which, in addition to being sad, is considerably ironic, given the charges leveled at him.

Personal Life

Charles Dickens - Project Gutenberg eText 13103

Charles Dickens at what some scholars describe as his most attractive.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dickens was only married once, a practice which was considered honorable, if somewhat naive by the gentry of the time, to a woman named Catherine Hogarth, which is a rather silly name, but he loved her nonetheless. It seems that Dickens had inherited his parents' faithful promiscuity, for he and Catherine were to have ten children, eight of whom outlived him. In today's time, such a practice would be considered irresponsible parenting, for seeing as the world population is exploding at an alarming rate - save for in some of the more sophisticated realms, such as those of the Germans and the Dutch, where the population is actually decreasing - having more than two children would certainly only exacerbate the problem, and many Dickens scholars suggest that it was his wife who, as per her natural predisposition towards child-rearing, forced him to conceive ten children.

It is asserted by certain Dickens scholars that the source of his carnal attraction - for such is a more sophisticated term than "hot", which scholars will not sink to the level of using - is perhaps his beard, which his detractors have had the gall to refer to as "freaky", for such is the term that ignorant people use to describe things which they do not understand. However, his supporters have consistently stated that Dickens' facial hair - while an acquired taste, to be sure - is the furthest from "freaky" that one could get. They also suggest that Virginia Woolf's nose could be potentially referred to as "freaky", but they do not desire to go around town making cheap jab's at people's appearances in a vain attempt to somehow detract from their ability to write.

Published work

  • The Pickwick Papers (1836–1837)
  • Oliver Twist (1837–1839)
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1838–1839)
  • The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–1841)
  • Barnaby Rudge (1841)
  • Braveheart (1842)
  • The Christmas books:
    • A Christmas Carol (1843)
    • The Chimes (1844)
    • The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)
    • The Battle of Life (1846)
    • The Haunted Man (1848)
  • Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–1844)
  • Dombey and Son (1846–1848)
  • David Copperfield (1849–1850)
  • Bleak House (1852–1853)
  • Hard Times (1854)
  • Little Dorrit (1855–1857)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  • Great Expectations (1860–1861)
  • Our Mutual Friend (1864–1865)
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished) (1870)

See Also

For those individuals whose tastes linger outside the realm of the farcical, a number of learned scholars (at least so considered by themselves) might be better able to inform you concerning Charles Dickens.
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