Charles Dickens was born in 1812. His childhood was marred by his father's extravagance and carelessness with money, which eventually landed him in debtor's prison. The young Dickens was forced to work in a Blacking factory pasting labels on the bottles. He describes this experience in “David Copperfield.” When he grew older he learned shot hand and became a parliamentary reporter. He published some sketches under the name of Boz. Their success led to his first novel “The Pickwick Papers” which was published serially.
Ackroyd describes his two trips to America, his later career reading from his novels, and his editorship of the periodicals “Household Words” and “All the Year Round.” He also details his marriage to Catherine Hogarth from whom he separated towards the end of his life, and his relationship with the young actress, Ellen Ternan. Dickens died in 1870.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein