Charles Dickens Facts | Charles Dickens For Kids | DK Find Out


Having been a journalist, I imagine Dickens would have had a habit of carrying a notebook to collect the ideas he had going around in his head and to describe the people he met. If cameras had been invented, he might very well have become a photojournalist, so in love he was with capturing people in the way he saw them. Instead, he used his priceless gift of writing, and for that we are grateful.

He wrote relentlessly, probably not putting his pen down very often.  Before he died, at the age of 58, he had written 15 novels—one incomplete. They included ‘Oliver Twist,’ ‘David Copperfield,’ and ‘Great Expectations.’ He also wrote short stories, essays, articles, and novellas.

One of Dickens’ all-time favourite books was A Christmas Carol. At the time it was published, it was an instant bestseller. “Victorians called it ‘a new gospel,’ and reading or watching it became a sacred ritual for many, without which the Christmas season cannot materialize.” (John Broich)[1]

A ritual it is indeed for many of us. Especially the scene where the converted miser, Scrooge, skips around in his nightshirt at the end of the movie, “Whoop! Hallo! …What’s today my fine fellow?” What a joy to watch!

Dickens once said, “Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before—more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”

That reveals a tender, good-hearted man. A person who knew how to touch the hearts of those who were able to make a difference in the difficulties caused by the Industrial Revolution.

Dickens’ contribution to child welfare are well captured by these words from British actor Simon Callow:

“The reason I love Dickens so deeply is that having experienced the lower depths, he never ceased, till the day he died, to commit himself, both in his work and in his life, to trying to right the wrongs inflicted by society, above all by giving the dispossessed a voice. From the moment he started to write he spoke for the people and the people loved him for it, as do I.” [2]

Charles Dickens died after a stroke in 1870, and is buried in Westminster Abbey in London. He left a rich collection of writings, important because of how well he captured life during the Industrial Revolution in England. Due to his efforts, awareness of the conditions for the poor were brought to light, compassion aroused, and changes made.

[1] John Broich. The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol

[2] Callow S (2012) My Hero: Charles Dickens. The Guardian ( )


This has been Part 16 or the Series A LIFE WORTH LIVING Read Part 17 – Overcoming or Accepting?