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Who Was Charles Dickens?

Pam Pollock

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At 15 he went to work for a law firm. On first day he was sent out on an errand in his little black military style cap. He came back with a black eye. He explained that he'd got into a fight with a man who mocked his hat. But he made everyone laugh by the way he told the story - acting out both protagonists.

He became a newspaper reporter of law courts. One of his stories was published in Monthly Magazine. From that he started writing The Pickwick Papers, published in serial form

Even before he'd finished writing that, he started on Oliver Twist, writing a chapter a month for each book.

David Copperfield based on his personal history with a spendthrift father . Micawber in the novel, became a common Victorian term for a spendthrift.

A Tale of Two Cities has famous opening line: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times"

Book tours of US - American publishers paid him nothing for pirated copies of his books, so he made money with public readings.

When he died, Q Vic insisted that he be buried in Poet's Corner Westminster Abbey - he was a national treasure.

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