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Charles Dickens

comic

Dickens, Charles (1812–70), English novelist. His brief childhood experience in a debtor's prison and work in a blacking factory shaped his future imagery and sympathies. Trained as a stenographer and lawyer's clerk, he began his literary career in London as a magazine contributor, under the pseudonym “Boz,” publishing Sketches by “Boz” in 1836. His comic work The Pickwick Papers (1837) made him famous. His chief concern was the effect of moral evil, crime, and corruption on society. He created some memorable comic characters, as in David Copperfield (1850), which was based on his own experiences. His works include Oliver Twist (1838), Bleak House (1853), Little Dorrit (1857), Great Expectations (1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1865). Dickens's novels were dramatized, and he made successful reading tours of England and the United States.

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