Dickens' novel "Our Mutual Friend" was featured in the Season Two finale of the TV series Lost. The book was the last novel he finished.
His eighth child was Henry Fielding Dickens, born in 1849. He was named after the famous novelist Henry Fielding, who was one of Dickens' favorite authors. Henry Fielding Dickens went on to become a well-respected lawyer who was knighted in 1922. Henry's great-grandson is Gerald Charles Dickens, a contemporary actor who performs a one-man version of A Christmas Carol.
His last child was born in 1852, Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens. Dickens named his seventh son after his friend, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who served as the child's godfather. Bulwer-Lytton was a politician and novelist, though not nearly as respected as Dickens is today. The first line of his novel Paul Clifford contains the oft-mocked line "It was a dark and stormy night."
A Christmas Carol, the first of his Christmas books, was published in 1843. The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future remains one of the most popular stories ever written in the English language.
When he was five, his family moved to Chatham, in Kent county in southeastern England.
His father, John Dickens, was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office.
His parents were John Dickens and Elizabeth (Barrow) Dickens.
He began working at Warren's Blacking Factory in 1824, at the age of 12, after his father was imprisoned for debt.
During his 1842 trip to Canada and the United States, Dickens advocated international copyright (to combat the numerous American pirated versions of his works) and an end to slavery.
His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was published in monthly parts during 1836 and 1837. It became an enormous success at the time. Its popularity has not diminished over the years as it is still one of his most popular books.
The full title of the book is The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.
He visited Canada and the United States in 1842. He wrote about the trip in American Notes, a book which was poorly received in America.
Early in his career, he became a noted shorthand reporter of Parliamentary debates in the House of Commons.
The Old Curiosity Shop is located on Portsmouth Street in London. The small building includes the sign "The Old Curiosity Shop immortalised by Charles Dickens." It trades in antique and modern art.
Dickens believed in spontaneous human combustion (SHC). One of his characters, Krook, dies from SHC in his novel Bleak House.
Most of Charles Dickens' novels were originally published in a monthly serial format. It was only later that they were released in book form.
The combination of sentimentality, detailed descriptions of Victorian England, satirical looks at aristocratic society, examination of some of the harsh qualities of his time, complex plots and memorable characters have made Charles Dickens one of the most popular writers of all time in the English language.
He was fascinated by the idea of a hidden aristocratic lineage, such as that discovered for the title character of Oliver Twist. It is thought that he was so ashamed of his family history that he longed for such a background for himself.
His final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), was never finished.
His pen name was "Boz."
Novel: Nicholas Nickleby published in 1839.
Novel: Oliver Twist published in 1837.
Charles was arrested for debt in 1823. The experience stayed with him as many of the characters in his novels were also arrested for debt.
Charles is buried at Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner.
Charles was married to Catherine Hogarth from April 2, 1836 until his death in 1870. Although, they were legally separated in 1858.
Charles' great-granddaughter, Monica Dickens, was also a published writer.
Charles Dickens: It is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.
(Charles on the hardships of being a parent)
Charles: I can't get my hat on in consequence of the extent to which my hair stands on the end at the costs and charges of these boys. Why was I ever a father?!