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It was published between and As a child, Dickens had walked past the house and dreamed of living in it.
The area was also the scene of some of the events of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 , and this literary connection pleased him. Dickens fell in love with one of the actresses, Ellen Ternan , and this passion was to last the rest of his life. When Catherine left, never to see her husband again, she took with her one child, leaving the other children to be raised by her sister Georgina who chose to stay at Gad's Hill.
During this period, whilst pondering a project to give public readings for his own profit, Dickens was approached through a charitable appeal by Great Ormond Street Hospital , to help it survive its first major financial crisis. His 'Drooping Buds' essay in Household Words earlier on 3 April was considered by the hospital's founders to have been the catalyst for the hospital's success.
After separating from Catherine,  Dickens undertook a series of hugely popular and remunerative reading tours which, together with his journalism, were to absorb most of his creative energies for the next decade, in which he was to write only two more novels. In , he undertook a series of public readings in England and Scotland, with more the following year in England and Ireland. Other works soon followed, including A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations , which were resounding successes.
Set in London and Paris, A Tale of Two Cities is his best-known work of historical fiction, and with over million copies sold it is regularly cited as the best-selling novel of all time. In early September , in a field behind Gad's Hill, Dickens made a bonfire of most of his correspondence—only those letters on business matters were spared. Since Ellen Ternan also destroyed all of his letters to her,  the extent of the affair between the two remains speculative. Storey published her account in Dickens and Daughter ,   but no contemporary evidence exists.
On his death, Dickens settled an annuity on Ternan which made her a financially independent woman. Claire Tomalin 's book, The Invisible Woman , argues that Ternan lived with Dickens secretly for the last 13 years of his life. The book was subsequently turned into a play, Little Nell , by Simon Gray , and a film. In the same period, Dickens furthered his interest in the paranormal , becoming one of the early members of The Ghost Club. The train's first seven carriages plunged off a cast iron bridge that was under repair.
The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which Dickens was travelling. Before rescuers arrived, Dickens tended and comforted the wounded and the dying with a flask of brandy and a hat refreshed with water, and saved some lives.appid.store/wp-includes/mckinney/1857.php
Classical Studies: Introduction
Before leaving, he remembered the unfinished manuscript for Our Mutual Friend , and he returned to his carriage to retrieve it. Dickens later used the experience of the crash as material for his short ghost story , " The Signal-Man ", in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash. He also based the story on several previous rail accidents , such as the Clayton Tunnel rail crash of Dickens managed to avoid an appearance at the inquest to avoid disclosing that he had been travelling with Ternan and her mother, which would have caused a scandal.
When this happened he was almost in a state of panic and gripped the seat with both hands. While he contemplated a second visit to the United States, the outbreak of the Civil War in America in delayed his plans. On 9 November , over two years after the war, Dickens set sail from Liverpool for his second American reading tour. In early December, the readings began. Although he had started to suffer from what he called the "true American catarrh ", he kept to a schedule that would have challenged a much younger man, even managing to squeeze in some sleighing in Central Park.
During his travels, he saw a change in the people and the circumstances of America. His final appearance was at a banquet the American Press held in his honour at Delmonico's on 18 April, when he promised never to denounce America again. By the end of the tour Dickens could hardly manage solid food, subsisting on champagne and eggs beaten in sherry. On 23 April he boarded the Cunard liner Russia to return to Britain,  barely escaping a federal tax lien against the proceeds of his lecture tour.
Between and , Dickens gave a series of "farewell readings" in England, Scotland, and Ireland, beginning on 6 October. He managed, of a contracted readings, to deliver 75 in the provinces, with a further 12 in London. He suffered a stroke on 18 April in Chester. It was fashionable in the s to 'do the slums' and, in company, Dickens visited opium dens in Shadwell , where he witnessed an elderly addict known as " Laskar Sal", who formed the model for the "Opium Sal" subsequently featured in his mystery novel, Edwin Drood. After Dickens had regained sufficient strength, he arranged, with medical approval, for a final series of readings to partially make up to his sponsors what they had lost due to his illness.
James's Hall in London. On 2 May, he made his last public appearance at a Royal Academy Banquet in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales , paying a special tribute on the death of his friend, the illustrator Daniel Maclise. On 8 June , Dickens suffered another stroke at his home after a full day's work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day, five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash, he died at Gads Hill Place.
Biographer Claire Tomalin has suggested Dickens was actually in Peckham when he suffered the stroke, and his mistress Ellen Ternan and her maids had him taken back to Gad's Hill so the public would not know the truth about their relationship. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads:. He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world.
His last words were: "On the ground", in response to his sister-in-law Georgina's request that he lie down. Pointing to the fresh flowers that adorned the novelist's grave, Stanley assured those present that "the spot would thenceforth be a sacred one with both the New World and the Old, as that of the representative of literature, not of this island only, but of all who speak our English tongue. Dickens's approach to the novel is influenced by various things, including the picaresque novel tradition,  melodrama ,  and the novel of sensibility.
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Fielding's Tom Jones   was a major influence on the nineteenth novel including Dickens, who read it in his youth,  and named a son Henry Fielding Dickens in his honour. His writing style is marked by a profuse linguistic creativity. An early reviewer compared him to Hogarth for his keen practical sense of the ludicrous side of life, though his acclaimed mastery of varieties of class idiom may in fact mirror the conventions of contemporary popular theatre.
His satires of British aristocratic snobbery—he calls one character the "Noble Refrigerator"—are often popular. Comparing orphans to stocks and shares, people to tug boats, or dinner-party guests to furniture are just some of Dickens's acclaimed flights of fancy. The author worked closely with his illustrators, supplying them with a summary of the work at the outset and thus ensuring that his characters and settings were exactly how he envisioned them. He briefed the illustrator on plans for each month's instalment so that work could begin before he wrote them.
Marcus Stone , illustrator of Our Mutual Friend , recalled that the author was always "ready to describe down to the minutest details the personal characteristics, and Dickens's biographer Claire Tomalin regards him as the greatest creator of character in English fiction after Shakespeare. His characters were often so memorable that they took on a life of their own outside his books.
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Many were drawn from real life: Mrs Nickleby is based on his mother, though she didn't recognise herself in the portrait,  just as Mr Micawber is constructed from aspects of his father's 'rhetorical exuberance':  Harold Skimpole in Bleak House is based on James Henry Leigh Hunt : his wife's dwarfish chiropodist recognised herself in Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield.
Virginia Woolf maintained that "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens" as he produces "characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks". Authors frequently draw their portraits of characters from people they have known in real life.
David Copperfield is regarded by many as a veiled autobiography of Dickens. The scenes of interminable court cases and legal arguments in Bleak House reflect Dickens's experiences as a law clerk and court reporter, and in particular his direct experience of the law's procedural delay during when he sued publishers in Chancery for breach of copyright. Dickens may have drawn on his childhood experiences, but he was also ashamed of them and would not reveal that this was where he gathered his realistic accounts of squalor.
Very few knew the details of his early life until six years after his death, when John Forster published a biography on which Dickens had collaborated. Though Skimpole brutally sends up Leigh Hunt, some critics have detected in his portrait features of Dickens's own character, which he sought to exorcise by self-parody. A pioneer of serialised fiction, most of Dickens's major novels were first written in monthly or weekly instalments in journals such as Master Humphrey's Clock and Household Words , later reprinted in book form.
Another important impact of Dickens's episodic writing style resulted from his exposure to the opinions of his readers and friends. His friend Forster had a significant hand in reviewing his drafts, an influence that went beyond matters of punctuation.
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He toned down melodramatic and sensationalist exaggerations, cut long passages such as the episode of Quilp's drowning in The Old Curiosity Shop , and made suggestions about plot and character. It was he who suggested that Charley Bates should be redeemed in Oliver Twist.
Dickens had not thought of killing Little Nell, and it was Forster who advised him to entertain this possibility as necessary to his conception of the heroine. Dickens's serialisation of his novels was criticised by other authors. They were writing up the log," said Nares, pointing to the ink-bottle. I wonder if there ever was a captain yet that lost a ship with his log-book up to date?
He generally has about a month to fill up on a clean break, like Charles Dickens and his serial novels. Dickens's novels were, among other things, works of social commentary. He was a fierce critic of the poverty and social stratification of Victorian society. In a New York address, he expressed his belief that "Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen".
40 JOURNEYS OF JESUS: The Untold Story - A Historical Novel
At a time when Britain was the major economic and political power of the world, Dickens highlighted the life of the forgotten poor and disadvantaged within society. Through his journalism he campaigned on specific issues—such as sanitation and the workhouse —but his fiction probably demonstrated its greatest prowess in changing public opinion in regard to class inequalities. He often depicted the exploitation and oppression of the poor and condemned the public officials and institutions that not only allowed such abuses to exist, but flourished as a result. His most strident indictment of this condition is in Hard Times , Dickens's only novel-length treatment of the industrial working class.
In this work, he uses vitriol and satire to illustrate how this marginalised social stratum was termed "Hands" by the factory owners; that is, not really "people" but rather only appendages of the machines they operated. His writings inspired others, in particular journalists and political figures, to address such problems of class oppression. For example, the prison scenes in The Pickwick Papers are claimed to have been influential in having the Fleet Prison shut down. Karl Marx asserted that Dickens "issued to the world more political and social truths than have been uttered by all the professional politicians, publicists and moralists put together".
Dickens is often described as using idealised characters and highly sentimental scenes to contrast with his caricatures and the ugly social truths he reveals. The story of Nell Trent in The Old Curiosity Shop was received as extraordinarily moving by contemporary readers but viewed as ludicrously sentimental by Oscar Wilde.
Chesterton stated, "It is not the death of little Nell, but the life of little Nell, that I object to", arguing that the maudlin effect of his description of her life owed much to the gregarious nature of Dickens's grief, his "despotic" use of people's feelings to move them to tears in works like this.
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The question as to whether Dickens belongs to the tradition of the sentimental novel is debatable. Valerie Purton, in her book Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition , sees him continuing aspects of this tradition, and argues that his "sentimental scenes and characters [are] as crucial to the overall power of the novels as his darker or comic figures and scenes", and that " Dombey and Son is [ In Oliver Twist Dickens provides readers with an idealised portrait of a boy so inherently and unrealistically good that his values are never subverted by either brutal orphanages or coerced involvement in a gang of young pickpockets.
While later novels also centre on idealised characters Esther Summerson in Bleak House and Amy Dorrit in Little Dorrit , this idealism serves only to highlight Dickens's goal of poignant social commentary.
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Dickens's fiction, reflecting what he believed to be true of his own life, makes frequent use of coincidence, either for comic effect or to emphasise the idea of providence. Such coincidences are a staple of 18th-century picaresque novels, such as Henry Fielding's Tom Jones , which Dickens enjoyed reading as a youth.
Dickens was the most popular novelist of his time,  and remains one of the best-known and most-read of English authors. His works have never gone out of print ,  and have been adapted continually for the screen since the invention of cinema,  with at least motion pictures and TV adaptations based on Dickens's works documented. Dickens created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest British novelist of the Victorian era.
Reviewers and literary figures during the s, s and s, saw a "drear decline" in Dickens, from a writer of "bright sunny comedy Dickens's popular reputation remained unchanged, sales continued to rise, and Household Words and later All the Year Round were highly successful. His performances even saw the rise of that modern phenomenon, the "speculator" or ticket tout — the ones in New York City escaped detection by borrowing respectable-looking hats from the waiters in nearby restaurants.
For 70 years after his death Dickens received remarkably little serious attention from the literary intelligentsia. Among fellow writers, Dickens there was a range of opinions.