|About the Book|
Births. Mrs. Meek, of a Son and A Childs Dream of a Starmare short stories by Charles Dickens. Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the worlds most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular. Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens was forced to leave school to work in a factory when his father was thrown into debtors prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for childrens rights, education, and other social reforms. Dickens sprang to fame with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly installments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. The installment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audiences reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wifes chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens went on to improve the character with positive features.