Archive for October 14th, 2009

This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.

October 14, 2009

Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870), pen-name “Boz”, was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature’s most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print. A concern with what he saw as the pressing need for social reform is a theme that runs throughout his work.

Much of his work first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialised form, a favoured way of publishing fiction at the time. Other writers of the time would complete entire novels before serial publication commenced, but Dickens often wrote his in parts, in the order in which they were meant to appear. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one cliffhanger after another to keep the public eager for the next instalment. Critics and fellow-novelists such as George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton have applauded Dickens for his mastery of prose, and for his teeming gallery of unique characters, many of whom have acquired iconic status in the English-speaking world. Others such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf have accused him of sentimentality and implausibility.