Tuesday, February 7, 2012

happy 200th b-day charles dickens!

image source:  Most Odd- Facts of Interest

Full Name: Charles John Huffam Dickens (early alias: Boz)

Date of Birth: Friday, February 7, 1812

Place of Birth: No. 1 Mile End Terrace, Landport, Portsmouth England

Parents: Father-John Dickens (1785-1851); Mother-Elizabeth Dickens (1789-1863)

Education: Approximately one year at William Giles' school in Chatham, Kent (age 9-11); nearly three years Wellington House Academy in London (age 13-15); beyond this, largely self-educated.

First Published Story: A Dinner at Poplar Walk, published in Monthly Magazine (December 1833)

Marriage: Catherine (Hogarth) Dickens (1815-1879) : married April 2, 1836 in St. Luke's Church, Chelsea.  Separated 1858


  • Charles Culliford (Charley) Dickens (1837-1896)
  • Mary (Mamie) Dickens (1838-1896)
  • Kate Macready (Katie) Dickens (1839-1929)
  • Walter Savage Landor Dickens (1841-1863)
  • Francis Jeffrey (Frank) Dickens (1844-1886)
  • Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912)
  • Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872)
  • Henry Fielding (Harry) Dickens (1849-1933)
  • Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851)
  • Edward Bulwer Lytton (Plorn) Dickens (1852-1902)

Date of Death: Thursday, June 9, 1870 (stroke)

Place of Burial: Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, London

Major Works:

Minor Works

Christmas Books:

Weekly Magazines:

Fun Facts:
  • The episode in Dickens' childhood when his father was imprisoned for debt and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory to help support the family is absolutely essential in knowing and understanding Dickens. This episode seemed to put a stain on the clever, sensitive boy that colored everything he accomplished, though he never told the story except obliquely through his fiction.   
  • In 1846 Dickens co-founded Urania Cottage, a home for the redemption of “fallen” women where accepted candidates could learn skills, often domestic, and re-integrate into society.
  • Dickens was keenly interested in the paranormal, and has even been linked to the famous paranormal investigation group “The Ghost Club” of London.
  • Dickens kept a pet raven named Grip, which he had stuffed when it died in 1841.
  • Dickens was preoccupied with looking in the mirror and combing his hair - he did it hundreds of times a day. He rearranged furniture in his home - if it wasn't in the exact "correct" position, he couldn't concentrate. Obsessed with magnetic fields, Dickens made sure that every bed he slept in was aligned north-south. He had to touch certain objects three times for luck. He was obsessed with the need for tidiness, often cleaning other homes as well as his own. 
  • Hans Christian Andersen was Dicken's close friend and mutual influence. Andersen even dedicated his book Poet's Day Dream to Dickens in 1853. But this didn't stop Dickens from letting Andersen know when he'd overstayed his welcome at Dickens's home. He printed a sign and left it on Andersen's mirror in the guest room. It read: "Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks, which seemed to the family like AGES." 
  • When The Old Curiosity Shop was published in serial form in 1841, readers all over Britain and the United States followed the progress of the heroine, Little Nell, with the same fervor that audiences today followed Harry Potter. When the ship carrying the last installment approached the dock in New York, 6,000 impatient fans onshore called out to the sailors, "Does Little Nell die?" (The answer?  Read the book for yourself).
Facts taken verbatim from the following websites:


  1. seriously he had a pet raven?? awesome ^_^

  2. I love his books. A Tale of Two Cities is my personal favorite.