Celebrating Charles Dickens’ 210th birthday

The well-known English writer continues to inspire new generations of readers.

Sarah Tunstall
17th February 2022
Image credit: Goodreads, Flickr

With celebrating his upcoming 210th birthday, I am sure you all know Dickens significantly from novels such as A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens is the basis of many further adaptations and the literary canon of the Victorian era; an author that is widely explored in analysing the progression of literature. 

Born on 7th February 1812, the second born of 8 children, Dickens’ experience of hardship during his childhood became a poignant foundation in many of his novels. Beginning in 1836, Dickens started to publish The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in monthly segments. As his success grew bigger, Dickens lead on to publish one of his most popular works, Pickwick, as a novel. From there onwards, Dickens published the novel David Copperfield which was the first complete record of a man’s life in Victorian England and henceforth many popular novels. As one of the most well-known English authors in the world, Dickens has become a significant member in the progression of literature.  

Exploring his authorial techniques was one of my first experiences with analysing texts in English literature, hence being a foundation to my love for English and now, a career aspiration.

With celebrating his upcoming 210th birthday I thought about how significant Dickens’ novels have been to me and my love for literature. Like most students who did the AQA specification for their English literature GCSEs, A Christmas Carol was one of the novels studied for school. However, my experience with Dickens was founded a lot earlier than my last year of school. In year 8 we were introduced to Great Expectations, both film and novel, and from there I fell in love with Dickens’ writing. Not so much to be enjoyed like a day-to-day novel, but exploring his authorial techniques was one of my first experiences with analysing texts in English literature, hence being a foundation to my love for English and now, a career aspiration.

Dickens deals with the darker aspects of Victorian England in his novels and has wifely become a centre point in literary criticism. I think as a foundation to the development of English literature and how we approach our society, it is worth celebrating the notoriety of Dickens on his 210th birthday.

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