Charles John Huffam Dickens was born February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth. He married Catherine Hogarth when he was 24 and although they separated in 1858, they never divorced.
Dickens left school at 15, but his education was interrupted when his father was imprisoned for debt and 10‐year‐old Charles was sent to work in a factory for two years to pay off money owed.
Although Dickens only spoke of this traumatising experience twice, critics agree that the two years he spent there forged much of the material for his later novels.
In his lifetime Dickens was a very famous public figure. He was reckoned to be the best after‐dinner speaker of the age; best shorthand reporter on the London Press and England's best amateur actor.
He was passionate about social causes and championed them both in his writing and in real life.
Dickens died in 1870 and was buried in Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey
Dickens had 10 children all of whom he gave nicknames. These included Lucifer Box, Skull, Chickenstalker, Skittles, The Ocean Spectre, Mr. H and Plorn. Charles Dickens's own nickname was "Boz".
Dickens suffered from both epilepsy and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He touched objects three times for "luck," and combed his hair hundreds of times each day.
The Old Curiosity Shop was published in serial form in 1841 and readers all over Britain and the United States followed the progress of the heroine, Little Nell, with the same fervor that audiences today follow Harry Potter. When the ship carrying the last (71st) installment approached the dock in New York, 6,000 impatient fans waiting onshore called out to the sailors "Does Little Nell die?".
Hans Christian Andersen was Dicken's very close friend. However when Anderson overstayed his welcome Dickens printed a sign and left it on the mirror in the guest room. It read: "Hans Andersen slept in this room for five weeks, which seemed to the family like AGES".
The phrase "What the Dickens" has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. This word "Dickens" is a euphemism for the word devil.
Sub-editing is a skill. Whether you need to sub your own work or another writer's copy, these 10 tips will help you produce better work
Freelancing is an exciting and rewarding way to make a living, combining freedom and flexibility with variety and the inspiration that comes from working with multiple clients.
Sue Townsend wrote that Adrian Mole series that sold over 20 million copies. But can you sport a real Adrian Mole quote from a fake?
There are a multitude of wonderful tools and apps out there for the digital journalist.
How much do you understand? Do you live in a McMansion? Are you SMEXI? And if you are, does everyone think so or is it MOO?
The UK's best Literary Festivals in 2014
Can you spell? To be a proofreader you will need to spot mistakes and misspellings. Test your knowledge here...
This Christmas autobiographies by Jennifer Saunders, Harry Redknapp and Mo Farah jostle for attention on the bookshelves alongside Morrissey and some brilliant fiction from Edith Pearlman and Eleanor Catton so there is no shortage of goodies waiting for you to read or give.
If you are looking for a bit of inspiration this Christmas, here are our tips and suggestions for 10 children's toys that are predicted to top the best seller lists for 2013
Here is a brief compendium of office jargon. Run a few of these up the flagpole and you may be regarded as the big cheese in the office.Or you may not.
Etymology is the study of the History or Words. How many phrases do you use on an everyday basis and not know why you say them?
What do you call them when there's more than one. Well it depends, but here is our choice of Collective Nouns
Writer's Block can strike at any time, whether you are a seasoned journalist or an aspiring writer. Here are 20 tips to help you overcome Writer's Block
60 seconds isn't a long time - unless you are looking at all the online activity taking place....
Pseudonyms, nom de plumes and pen names, call them what you will, it's a name but it's not their real name.
Poetry can be used to provoke thought, create images and paint pictures. Not Waving but Drowning is our poem of the Month
Apostrophes are one of the most common grammar mistakes. However used correctly, it clarifies meaning at a glance, so here are some rules to help you put your apostrophes in the right place.
No one wants to make mistakes but if you are going to, try not to make mistakes like these.
Writing a good headline will automatically increase the number of people who read your article whether you are writing news stories, features or sales material.
Proofreading is a skill that can be learnt. These 10 essential tips will help you spot any mistakes before anyone else does.
Poetry soothes the soul and feeds the imagination. You are tired (I think) is our poem for March.
Everyone knows that today Valentine's Day is about roses, cards and meals out. But what were its origins?
Recording interviews is an art. However there are a few basic tips and tricks that will allow you to capture good footage every time.
Everyone wants to write a best seller. 2012 was the year of EL James, selling over 10m copies of her Fifty Shades Trilogy.
We took our favourite poem and asked Google Translate to help us. The results are... well see for yourself and then try it yourself.
Become a cinematic know-it-all. Here are a collection of movie facts that we thought you might find interesting
Ya aburnee (Arabic): You bury me. Its a declaration of ones hope that theyll die before another person, because of how difficult it would be to live without them.
Top 20 Brands and Companies using Social Media
What is your favourite film? It's a question that's easy to ask, but hard to answer. But here are our choices...
How would you define journalism? Here are some facts and lots of other peoples opinions...
Does the idea of interviewing someone phase you completely? Here are our top ten tips to make the process easier.
Effect or Affect? Anti or Ante? And does practice or practise make perfect. Check your knowledge with 35 of the most commonly misuse words.
A word is defined as a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.
If you are tweeting for work not just for fun, how do you make people interested?
The London Olympic Games is the UK's biggest exercise in organisation, project management, branding and promotion in the last 30 years.
Social media is changing the world. We look at new innovations coming soon.
To celebrate the bicentenary of Victorian England's most famous author we have put together some facts and trivia about the man himself.
Words can change moods, create impressions or completely alter the sense of a sentence.