Charles Dickens managed to gain fame as the most famous and popular writer in England during his lifetime. One of the most prominent novelists of the 19th century became a classic of world literature thanks to his works in the spirit of realism. But his novels should not be attributed purely to one genre: in them, you can find a sentimental beginning and even features of a fairy tale. For this, we love his Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations.
About his life before writing
- The future classic was born on February 7, 1812, in the suburbs of Portsmouth and was the 2nd of 8 children in the family. Having moved to London, the family began to live beyond their means, and in 1824 Dickens Sr. ended up in a debt prison. Charles went to work at the wax factory. And on Sundays, the children were forced to spend time in prison with their father.
- Dickens first showed himself not as a writer, but as a reporter. It was after several reports that the public noticed him.
- The classic liked to dress rather extravagantly. The writer Chesterton put it this way: “He wore a velvet jacket, some incredible vests, reminiscent of completely implausible sunsets, white hats unprecedented at that time, completely unusual, clear white. He willingly dressed up in stunning bathrobes; they even say that he posed for a portrait in such a robe. ”
About his mind
- Charles Dickens possessed an excited mind and was subject to paranormal influences. As an editor, he could not resist ghost stories. The year-round magazine, published under his leadership, always had a place for something supernatural. This addiction was explained by the fact that the writer saw what others could not see. For example, in one of the morning hours, he saw a father sitting on a chair. Charles knew that his dad was in good health. He tried to grab him by the shoulder, but only touched the void. Since then, the writer believed that morning was a time for him to meet with ghosts.
- Dickens was subject to visions and often experienced a sense of deja vu. When this happened, the writer began to fumble his hat, and it quickly lost its presentable appearance.
- While visiting the Italian city Ferrara, Dickens experienced one of the strongest deja vu ever. In his travel notes, he described it like this: “Maybe I was killed here in a previous life? Where else could such vivid memories come from about this area? Blood runs cold when I recognize one after another all the new familiar details. Memories of places where I had never been had flashed with such force that now I can hardly forget about them. ”
How he wrote
- The chief editor of Fortnight Review magazine, George Henry Lewis, said that once Charles told him that every word, before being transferred to paper, was clearly heard by him first, and all the characters were constantly next to him and entered into dialogue. Therefore, Dickens loved to roam the busy streets. “In the daytime, you can still somehow manage without people,” he admitted, “but in the evening I’m just not able to free myself from my ghosts until I get lost from them in the crowd.”
- So, for example, while working on the “Antiquities Bench”, the writer could neither sleep nor eat, because his little heroine, Nelly Trent, was constantly spinning under her feet, demanded attention and sympathy, and was jealous of the writer if he was distracted by someone else.
- Dickens had outstanding acting skills, which helped him earn a living by reading passages of his works. He was a brilliant reader and made a big impression on the listeners.
About his personality
- Charles Dickens was far from an angel. His nature was complex and controversial. The writer often unjustly treated his wife, accusing her of constant pregnancies, limited mind, and fat stature. Probably only great love helped Katherine endure all the eccentricities of her husband. She did not complain even when her sister Mary moved to live with them and overnight became the writer’s muse. A few years later, Dickens himself initiated a divorce from his wife for the sake of a young lover, and even tried to send Katherine to a psychiatric hospital.
- At the same time, a sense of empathy was still not alien to the classic. Vladimir Nabokov in his lectures mentioned the story of Dickens: in the difficult years of his London youth, Charles walked along the street behind a worker carrying a large-headed child. The man walked without turning around, and the boy looked over at Dickens from behind his shoulder. He ate from a paper bag of cherries and slowly treated the child, and no one saw this.
- In his will, the writer forbade the building of monuments. He wanted to remain in the readers’ memory only by his works.
About his friendship with Hans Christian Andersen
- In 1847, Charles Dickens met Hans Christian Andersen. The latter was not yet known in England, while Dickens was a real star. Andersen enthusiastically took this acquaintance and, when Dickens invited him to stay between business, he immediately took advantage of the idol’s invitation.
- Staying at the Dickens’s, Andersen immediately began to annoy him with his presence. When he left, Charles pinned note in the guest room: “Hans Christian Andersen lived here for 5 weeks, which seemed to our family YEARS”.