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Many of Goethe's works, especially Faust, the Roman Elegies, and the Venetian Epigrams, depict erotic passions and acts. For instance, in Faust, the first use of Faust's power after literally signing a contract with the devil is to fall in love with and impregnate a teenage girl. Sony VGN-SR175N/B Battery

Some of the Venetian Epigrams were held back from publication due to their sexual content. Goethe clearly saw human sexuality as a topic worthy of poetic and artistic depiction, an idea that was uncommon in a time when the private nature of sexuality was rigorously normative.[38] Sony VGN-SR175NB Battery


In his 1999 book The Tiger's Tender Touch: The Erotic Life of Goethe, Karl Hugo Pruys argued (with great controversy in Germany) that Goethe's writings suggest he may have been bisexual.[39] Goethe's sexual portraitures and allusions may have been inspired by his sojourn in Italy, where some men, trying to avoid both the prevalence of venereal disease among prostitutes, and the demand of marriage among 'maidens', embraced homosexuality.[40] Sony VGN-SR190EBJ Battery



Born into a Lutheran family, Goethe's early faith was shaken by news of such events as the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the Seven Years' War. In July 1782, he described himself as "not anti-Christian, nor un-Christian, but most decidedly non-Christian."[41] In his Venetian Epigram 66, Goethe listed four things that he disliked: Sony VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

"tobacco smoke, bugs and garlic and the cross."[42][43] In the book Conversations with Goethe by Goethe's secretaryEckermann, however, Goethe is portrayed as enthusiastic about Christianity, Jesus,Martin Luther, and the Protestant Reformation, even calling Christianity the "ultimate religion".[44][45][46] Although he opposed many of the central teachings of the Christian churches, he thought that he could nevertheless be inwardly Christian.[47] Sony VGN-SR190F Battery


His later spiritual perspective evolved among pantheism (heavily influenced by Spinoza),humanism, and various elements of Western esotericism, as seen most vividly in Part II ofFaust. According to Nietzsche, Goethe had "a kind of almost joyous and trusting fatalism" that has "faith that only in the totality everything redeems itself and appears good and justified."[48] Sony VGN-SR19VN Battery


On the other hand, a year before his death he expressed an identification with theHypsistarians, an ancient Jewish-pagan sect of the Black Sea region. After describing his difficulties with mainstream religion, Goethe laments: Sony VGN-SR19XN Battery


In politics Goethe was conservative. At the time of the French Revolution, he thought the enthusiasm of the students and professors to be a perversion of their energy and remained skeptical of the ability of the masses to govern.[6] Sony VGN-SR21M/S Battery

Likewise, he "did not oppose the War of Liberation (1813–15) waged by the German states against Napoleon, but remained aloof from the patriotic efforts to unite the various parts of Germany into one nation; he advocated instead the maintenance of small principalities ruled by benevolent despots."[7] Sony VGN-SR220J/B Battery



Goethe had a great effect on the nineteenth century. In many respects, he was the originator of many ideas which later became widespread. He produced volumes of poetry, essays, criticism, a theory of colours and early work on evolution and linguistics. He was fascinated by mineralogy, and the mineral goethite (iron oxide) is named after him.[50] Sony VGN-SR220J/H Battery

His non-fiction writings, most of which are philosophic and aphoristic in nature, spurred the development of many philosophers, including G.W.F. Hegel, Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernst Cassirer, Carl Jung, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Along with Schiller, he was one of the leading figures of Weimar Classicism. Sony VGN-SR23H/B Battery


Goethe embodied many of the contending strands in art over the next century: his work could be lushly emotional, and rigorously formal, brief and epigrammatic, and epic. He would argue that classicism was the means of controlling art,Sony VGN-SR240J/B Battery

and that romanticism was a sickness, even as he penned poetry rich in memorable images, and rewrote the formal rules of German poetry. Even in contemporary culture, he stands in the background as the author of the ballad upon which Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice is based. Sony VGN-SR240N/B Battery


His poetry was set to music by almost every major Austrian and German composer fromMozart to Mahler, and his influence would spread to French drama and opera as well. Beethoven declared that a "Faust" Symphony would be the greatest thing for art. Liszt and Mahler both created symphonies in whole or in large part inspired by this seminal work, which would give the 19th century one of its most paradigmatic figures: Doctor Faustus. Sony VGN-SR25G/B Battery


The Faust tragedy/drama, often called Das Drama der Deutschen (the drama of the Germans), written in two parts published decades apart, would stand as his most characteristic and famous artistic creation. Followers of the twentieth century esotericistRudolf Steiner built a theatre named the Goetheanum after him – where festival performances of Faust are still performed. Sony VGN-SR25G/P Battery


Goethe was also a cultural force, and by researching folk traditions, he created many of the norms for celebrating Christmas, and argued that the organic nature of the land moulded the people and their customs—an argument that has recurred ever since. Sony VGN-SR25G/S Battery

He argued that laws could not be created by pure rationalism, since geography and history shaped habits and patterns. This stood in sharp contrast to the prevailing Enlightenmentview that reason was sufficient to create well-ordered societies and good laws. Sony VGN-SR25M/B Battery


It was to a considerable degree due to Goethe's reputation that the city of Weimar was chosen in 1919 as the venue for the national assembly, convened to draft a new constitution for what would become known as Germany's Weimar Republic. Sony VGN-SR25S/B Battery


The Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution, The Goethe-Institut is named after him, and promotes the study of German abroad and fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics.Sony VGN-SR25T/P Battery


The literary estate of Goethe in the Goethe and Schiller Archives was inscribed onUNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2001 in recognition of its historical significance.[51] Sony VGN-SR25T/S Battery


Goethe's influence was dramatic because he understood that there was a transition in European sensibilities, an increasing focus on sense, the indescribable, and the emotional. This is not to say that he was emotionalistic or excessive; on the contrary, Sony VGN-SR26/B Battery

he lauded personal restraint and felt that excess was a disease: "There is nothing worse than imagination without taste". He argued in his scientific works that a "formative impulse", which he said is operative in every organism, Sony VGN-SR26/P Battery

causes an organism to form itself according to its own distinct laws, and therefore rational laws or fiats could not be imposed at all from a higher, transcendent sphere; this placed him in direct opposition to those who attempted to form "enlightened" monarchies based on "rational" laws by, for example, Joseph II of Austria or the subsequent Emperor of the French, Napoleon I. A quotation from Goethe'sScientific Studies will suffice: Sony VGN-SR26/S Battery


That change later became the basis for 19th-century thought: organic rather than geometrical, evolving rather than created, and based on sensibility and intuition rather than on imposed order, culminating in, as Goethe said, a "living quality," Sony VGN-SR26GN/B Battery

wherein the subject and object are dissolved together in a poise of inquiry. Consequently, Goethe embraced neither teleological nor deterministic views of growth within every organism. Instead, his view was that the world as a whole grows through continual, external, and internal strife. Moreover, Goethe did not embrace the mechanistic views that contemporaneous science subsumed during his time, Sony VGN-SR26MN/B Battery

and therewith he denied rationality's superiority as the sole interpreter of reality. Furthermore, Goethe declared that all knowledge is related to humanity through its functional value alone and that knowledge presupposes aperspectival quality. He also stated that the fundamental nature of the world isaesthetic[citation needed]Sony VGN-SR27TN/B Battery


His views make him, along with Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Ludwig van Beethoven, a figure in two worlds: on the one hand, devoted to the sense of taste, order, and finely crafted detail, which is the hallmark of the artistic sense of the Age of Reasonand the neo-classical period of architecture; on the other, seeking a personal, Sony VGN-SR28/B Battery

intuitive, and personalized form of expression and society, firmly supporting the idea of self-regulating and organic systems. Thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson would take up many similar ideas in the 1800s. Goethe's ideas on evolution would frame the question thatDarwin and Wallace would approach within the scientific paradigm. Sony VGN-SR28/J Battery


Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens ( /ˈtʃɑrlz ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer, generally considered to be the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and responsible for some of English literature's most iconic novels and characters.[1] During his lifetime Dickens' works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and fame, and they remain popular today. It was in the twentieth century, however, that his literary genius was fully recognized by critics and scholars. Sony VGN-SR28/Q Battery


Many of his works were originally published serially in monthly instalments, a format of publication that Dickens himself helped popularise. Unlike other authors who completed novels before serialisation, Dickens often wrote the episodes as they were being serialised, and he often revised his plots and characters on the basis of readers' responses to a published episode. Sony VGN-SR290JTH Battery

The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, employing cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next instalment.[2] The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print.[3]Sony VGN-SR290JTJ Battery


Dickens's work has been highly praised by writers such as Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, and G. K. Chesterton for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, andsocial criticism, though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, have criticised it as melodramatic, sentimental, and implausible.[4] Sony VGN-SR290JTQ Battery


Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812, at Landport in Portsea, the second of eight children to John and Elizabeth Dickens. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office and was temporarily on duty in the district. Very soon after the birth of Charles the family moved to Norfolk Street, Sony VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

Bloomsbury, and then, when he was four, to Chatham, Kent, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11. His early years seem to have been idyllic, though he thought himself a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy".[5] Sony VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

Charles spent time outdoors, but also read voraciously, especially the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding. Sony VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

He spoke later in life of his poignant memories of childhood and of his near-photographic memory of the people and events, which he used in his writing. His father's brief period as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office afforded him a few years of private education at William Giles's School, in Chatham.[6] Sony VGN-SR290NTB Battery


This period came to an abrupt end when the Dickens family, because of financial difficulties, moved from Kent to Camden Town, in London in 1822. John Dickens continually lived beyond his means and was eventually imprisoned in the Marshalseadebtor's prison in Southwark, London in 1824. Sony VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

Shortly afterwards, the rest of his family joined him – except 12-year-old Charles, who was boarded with family friend Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town.[7] Mrs. Roylance was "a reduced [impoverished] old lady, long known to our family", whom Dickens later immortalised, Sony VGN-SR31M/S Battery

"with a few alterations and embellishments", as "Mrs. Pipchin", in Dombey and Son. Later, he lived in a "back-attic...at the house of an insolvent-court agent...in Lant Street in The Borough...he was a fat, good-natured, kind old gentleman, with a quiet old wife"; and he had a very innocent grown-up son; these three were the inspiration for the Garland family in The Old Curiosity Shop.[8] Sony VGN-SR33H/B Battery


On Sundays—with his sister Frances, free from her studies at the Royal Academy of Music—he spent the day at the Marshalsea.[9] (Dickens later used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit). To pay for his board and to help his family,Sony VGN-SR33H/P Battery

Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station, where he earned six shillings a week pasting labels on pots of boot blacking. Sony VGN-SR33H/S Battery

The strenuous and often cruel working conditions deeply impressed Dickens and later influenced his fiction and essays, becoming the foundation of his interest in the reform of socio-economic and labour conditions, the rigors of which he believed were unfairly borne by the poor. He would later write that he wondered "how I could have been so easily cast away at such an age." As told to John Forster (from The Life of Charles Dickens): Sony VGN-SR33H Battery


The blacking-warehouse was the last house on the left-hand side of the way, at old Hungerford Stairs. It was a crazy, tumble-down old house, abutting of course on the river, and literally overrun with rats. Its wainscoted rooms, and its rotten floors and staircase, and the old grey rats swarming down in the cellars, Sony VGN-SR35G/B Battery

and the sound of their squeaking and scuffling coming up the stairs at all times, and the dirt and decay of the place, rise up visibly before me, as if I were there again. The counting-house was on the first floor, looking over the coal-barges and the river. Sony VGN-SR35G/E1 Battery

There was a recess in it, in which I was to sit and work. My work was to cover the pots of paste-blacking; first with a piece of oil-paper, and then with a piece of blue paper; to tie them round with a string; and then to clip the paper close and neat, all round, Sony VGN-SR35G/P Battery

until it looked as smart as a pot of ointment from an apothecary's shop. When a certain number of grosses of pots had attained this pitch of perfection, I was to paste on each a printed label, and then go on again with more pots. Sony VGN-SR35G/S Battery

Two or three other boys were kept at similar duty down-stairs on similar wages. One of them came up, in a ragged apron and a paper cap, on the first Monday morning, to show me the trick of using the string and tying the knot. His name was Bob Fagin; and I took the liberty of using his name, long afterwards, in Oliver Twist.[8] Sony VGN-SR35M/B Battery


After only a few months in Marshalsea, John Dickens's paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dickens, died and bequeathed him the sum of £450. On the expectation of this legacy, Dickens was granted release from prison. Under the Insolvent Debtors Act, Dickens arranged for payment of his creditors, and he and his family left Marshalsea for the home of Mrs. Roylance. Sony VGN-SR35T/B Battery


Although Dickens eventually attended the Wellington House Academy in North London, his mother Elizabeth Dickens did not immediately remove him from the boot-blacking factory. The incident may have done much to confirm Dickens's view that a father should rule the family, a mother find her proper sphere inside the home. Sony VGN-SR35T/P Battery

"I never afterwards forgot, I never shall forget, I never can forget, that my mother was warm for my being sent back." His mother's failure to request his return was no doubt a factor in his dissatisfied attitude towards women.[9] Sony VGN-SR35T/S Battery


Righteous anger stemming from his own situation and the conditions under whichworking-class people lived became major themes of his works, and it was this unhappy period in his youth to which he alluded in his favourite, and most autobiographical, Sony VGN-SR36GNS Battery

novel,David Copperfield:[10] "I had no advice, no counsel, no encouragement, no consolation, no assistance, no support, of any kind, from anyone, that I can call to mind, as I hope to go to heaven!" The Wellington House Academy was not a good school. 'Much of the haphazard, desultory teaching, poor discipline punctuated by the headmaster's sadistic brutality, Sony VGN-SR37TN/B Battery

the seedy ushers and general run-down atmosphere, are embodied in Mr. Creakle's Establishment in David Copperfield.'[9] Dickens worked at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray's Inn, as a junior clerk from May 1827 to November 1828. Sony VGN-SR38/B Battery

Then, having learned Gurneys system of shorthand in his spare time, he left to become a freelance reporter. A distant relative, Thomas Charlton, was a freelance reporter at Doctors' Commons, and Dickens was able to share his box there to report the legal proceedings for nearly four years.[11] This education informed works such asNicholas NicklebyDombey and SonSony VGN-SR38/J Battery

and especially Bleak House—whose vivid portrayal of the machinations and bureaucracy of the legal system did much to enlighten the general public, and was a vehicle for dissemination of Dickens's own views regarding, particularly, the heavy burden on the poor who were forced by circumstances to "go to law".Sony VGN-SR38/Q Battery

In 1830, Dickens met his first love, Maria Beadnell, thought to have been the model for the character Dora in David Copperfield. Maria's parents disapproved of the courtship and effectively ended the relationship by sending her to school in Paris. Sony VGN-SR38 Battery


In 1833 Dickens's first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine. The following year he rented rooms at Furnival's Innbecoming a political journalist, reporting on parliamentary debate and travelling across Britain to cover election campaigns for the Morning ChronicleSony VGN-SR390NAB Battery

 His journalism, in the form of sketches in periodicals, formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. This led to the serialisation of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, in March 1836. He continued to contribute to and edit journals throughout his literary career. Sony VGN-SR390NAH Battery


In 1836 Dickens accepted the job of editor of Bentley's Miscellany, a position he held for three years, until he fell out with the owner. At the same time, his success as a novelist continued, producing Oliver Twist (1837–39), Nicholas Nickleby (1838–39), Sony VGN-SR39D/J Battery

The Old Curiosity Shop and, finally, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty as part of theMaster Humphrey's Clock series (1840–41)—all published in monthly instalments before being made into books. During this period Dickens kept a pet raven named Grip, which he had stuffed when it died in 1841. (It is now at the Free Library of Philadelphia).[12] Sony VGN-SR39D/Q Battery


On 2 April 1836, he married Catherine Thomson Hogarth (1816–1879), the daughter ofGeorge Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle. After a brief honeymoon in Chalk, Kent, they set up home in Bloomsbury. They had ten children: Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (C. C. B. Dickens), Sony VGN-SR39D Battery

later known as Charles Dickens, Jr., Mary Dickens, Kate Macready Dickens, Walter Landor Dickens, Francis Jeffrey Dickens, Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens, Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens, Sir Henry Fielding Dickens, Dora Annie Dickens, Edward Dickens.[13] Sony VGN-SR39VN/S Battery


Dickens and his family lived at 48 Doughty Street, London, (on which he had a three year lease at £80 a year) from 25 March 1837 until December 1839. Dickens's younger brotherFrederick and Catherine's 17-year-old sister Mary moved in with them. Dickens became very attached to Mary, and she died in his arms after a brief illness in 1837. She became a character in many of his books, and her death is fictionalised as the death of Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop.[14] Sony VGN-SR39XN/S Battery



In 1842, Dickens and his wife made his first trip to the United States and Canada, a journey which was successful in spite of his support for the abolition of slavery. It is described in the travelogue American Notes for General Circulation and is also the basis of some of the episodes in Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–44). Sony VGN-SR3CW/B Battery

Dickens includes in Notes a powerful condemnation of slavery,[15] with "ample proof" of the "atrocities" he found.[16] He also called upon President John Tyler at the White House.[17] Sony VGN-SR3S1 Battery


During his visit, Dickens spent a month in New York City, giving lectures, raising support for copyright laws, and recording many of his impressions of America. He met such luminaries as Washington Irving and William Cullen Bryant. Sony VGN-SR41M/P Battery

On 14 February 1842, a Boz Ball was held in his honour at the Park Theater, with 3,000 guests. Among the neighbourhoods he visited were Five Points, Wall Street, The Bowery, and the prison known as The Tombs.[18] At this time Georgina Hogarth, Sony VGN-SR41M/S Battery

another sister of Catherine, joined the Dickens household, now living at Devonshire Terrace, Marylebone, to care for the young family they had left behind.[19] She remained with them as housekeeper, organiser, adviser and friend until Dickens's death in 1870. Sony VGN-SR41M/W Battery


Shortly thereafter, he began to show interest in Unitarian Christianity, although he remained an Anglican for the rest of his life.[20] Soon after his return to England, Dickens began work on the first of his two or three famous Yuletide tales A Christmas Carol written in 1843, which was followed by The Chimes in 1844 and The Cricket on the Hearth in 1845.Sony VGN-SR45H/B Battery

Of these "A Christmas Carol" was most popular and it did much to rekindle the joy of Christmas in Britain and America when the traditional celebration of Christmas was in decline. The seeds for the story were planted in Dickens's mind during a trip to Manchester to witness conditions of the manufacturing workers there. Sony VGN-SR45H/N Battery

This, along with scenes he had recently witnessed at the Field Lane Ragged School, caused Dickens to resolve to "strike a sledge hammer blow" for the poor. As the idea for the story took shape and the writing began in earnest, Dickens became engrossed in the book. He wrote that as the tale unfolded he "wept and laughed, Sony VGN-SR45H/P Battery

and wept again" as he "walked about the black streets of London fifteen or twenty miles many a night when all sober folks had gone to bed." After living briefly abroad in Italy (1844) Dickens travelled to Switzerland (1846); it was here he began work on Dombey and Son (1846–48). Sony VGN-SR45T/B Battery

 This and David Copperfield(1849–50) mark a significant artistic break in Dickens's career as his novels became more serious in theme and more carefully planned than his early works. Sony VGN-SR45H Battery



In May 1846 Angela Burdett Coutts, heir to the Coutts banking fortune, approached Dickens about setting up a home for the redemption of fallen women. Coutts envisioned a home that would differ from existing institutions, which offered harsh and punishing regimes for these women, Sony VGN-SR45T/P Battery

and instead provide an environment where they could learn to read and write and become proficient in domestic household chores so as to re-integrate them into society. After initially resisting, Dickens eventually founded the home, named "Urania Cottage", Sony VGN-SR45T/W Battery

in the Lime Grove section of Shepherds Bush. He became involved in many aspects of its day-to-day running, setting the house rules, reviewing the accounts and interviewing prospective residents, some of whom became characters in his books. Sony VGN-SR46GD Battery

He would scour prisons and workhouses for potentially suitable candidates and relied on friends, such as the Magistrate John Hardwick, to bring them to his attention. Each potential candidate was given a printed invitation written by Dickens called ‘An Appeal to Fallen Women’,[21] which he signed only as ‘Your friend’. If the woman accepted the invitation, Sony VGN-SR46GDB Battery

Dickens would personally interview her for admission.[22][23] All of the women were required to emigrate following their time at Urania Cottage. In research published in 2009, the families of two of these women were identified, one in Canada and one in Australia. It is estimated that about 100 women graduated between 1847 and 1859.[24] Sony VGN-SR46MD/B Battery



In late November 1851, Dickens moved into Tavistock House[25] where he would writeBleak House (1852–53), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1857). It was here he indulged in the amateur theatricals which are described in Forster's "Life".Sony VGN-SR46TD/B Battery

In 1856, the income he was earning from his writing allowed him to buy Gad's Hill Place in Higham, Kent. As a child, Dickens had walked past the house and dreamed of living in it. The area was also the scene of some of the events of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 and this literary connection pleased him. Sony VGN-SR48J/B Battery


In 1857, Dickens hired professional actresses for the play The Frozen Deep, which he and his protégé Wilkie Collins had written. Dickens formed a bond with one of the actresses,Ellen Ternan, which was to last the rest of his life. He then separated from his wife, Catherine, in 1858 – divorce was still unthinkable for someone as famous as he was.Sony VGN-SR48J/J Battery


During this period, whilst pondering about giving public readings for his own profit, Dickens was approached by Great Ormond Street Hospital to help it survive its first major financial crisis through a charitable appeal. Dickens, whose philanthropy was well-known, Sony VGN-SR48J Battery

was asked to preside by his friend, the hospital's founder Charles West and he threw himself into the task, heart and soul[26] (a little known fact is that Dickens reported anonymously in the weekly The Examiner in 1849 to help mishandled children and wrote another article to help publicise the hospital's opening in 1852).[27] On 9 February 1858, Sony VGN-SR490JCN Battery

Dickens spoke at the hospital's first annual festival dinner at Freemasons' Hall and later gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church hall. The events raised enough money to enable the hospital to purchase the neighbouring house, No. 48 Great Ormond Street, increasing the bed capacity from 20 to 75.[28] Sony VGN-SR49D/J Battery


After separating from his wife in the summer of 1858[29] Dickens undertook his first series of public readings in London, which ended on 22 July. After 10 days rest, he began a gruelling and ambitious tour through the English provinces, Sony VGN-SR49D/Q Battery

Scotland and Ireland, beginning with a performance in Clifton on 2 August and closing in Brighton, more than three months later, on 13 November. Altogether he read eighty-seven times, on some days giving both a matinée and an evening performance.[30] Sony VGN-SR49D Battery


Major works, A Tale of Two Cities (1859); and Great Expectations (1861) soon followed and would prove resounding successes. During this time he was also the publisher and editor of, and a major contributor to, the journals Household Words (1850–1859) and All the Year Round (1858–1870).[31] Sony VGN-SR49VN/H Battery


In early September 1860, in a field behind Gad's Hill, Dickens made a great bonfire of almost his entire correspondence — only those letters on business matters were spared. Since Ellen Ternan also burned all of his letters to her, Sony VGN-SR51B/P Battery

the extent of the affair between the two was unknown until the publication in 1939 of Dickens and Daughter, a book about Dickens's relationship with his daughter Kate. Kate Dickens worked with author Gladys Storey on the book prior to her death in 1929, Sony VGN-SR51B/S Battery

and alleged that Dickens and Ternan had a son who died in infancy, although no contemporary evidence exists.[32] On his death, Dickens settled an annuity on Ternan which made her a financially independent woman. Claire Tomalin's book, The Invisible Woman, set out to prove that Ternan lived with Dickens secretly for the last 13 years of his life. The book was subsequently turned into a play, Little Nell, by Simon Gray. Sony VGN-SR51B Battery


In the same period, Dickens furthered his interest in the paranormal becoming one of the early members of The Ghost Club.[33] Sony VGN-SR51MF/W Battery


Charles Dickens was a friend of the family of Mary Ann Cooper (née Mitton), and sometimes visited them; they lived in The Cedars, a house on the east side of Hatton Road, Hatton, London; the site of the house is now under the east end of London Heathrow Airport. She was the inspiration for his character Little Dorrit.[34] Sony VGN-SR51MF Battery



On 9 June 1865,[35] while returning from Paris with Ternan, Dickens was involved in theStaplehurst rail crash. The first seven carriages of the train plunged off a cast iron bridge under repair. The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which Dickens was travelling. Dickens tried to help the wounded and the dying before rescuers arrived. Before leaving, Sony VGN-SR55TF/B Battery

he remembered the unfinished manuscript for Our Mutual Friend, and he returned to his carriage to retrieve it. Typically, Dickens later used this experience as material for his short ghost story The Signal-Man in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash. He based the story around several previousrail accidents, such as the Clayton Tunnel rail crash of 1861. Sony VGN-SR59VG/H Battery


Dickens managed to avoid an appearance at the inquest, to avoid disclosing that he had been travelling with Ternan and her mother, which would have caused a scandal. Although physically unharmed, Dickens never really recovered from the trauma of the Staplehurst crash, Sony VGN-SR59VG Battery

and his normally prolific writing shrank to completing Our Mutual Friend and starting the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Much of his time was taken up with public readings from his best-loved novels. Dickens was fascinated by the theatre as an escape from the world, Sony VGN-SR70B/S Battery

and theatres and theatrical people appear in Nicholas Nickleby. The travelling shows were extremely popular. In 1866, a series of public readings were undertaken in England and Scotland. The following year saw more readings in England and Ireland. Sony VGN-SR70B Battery



On 9 November 1867, Dickens sailed from Liverpool for his second American reading tour. Landing at Boston, he devoted the rest of the month to a round of dinners with such notables as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his American publisher James Thomas Fields. Sony VGN-SR72B/P Battery

In early December, the readings began and Dickens spent the month shuttling between Boston and New York. Although he had started to suffer from what he called the "true American catarrh", he kept to a schedule that would have challenged a much younger man, even managing to squeeze in some sleighing in Central Park. Sony VGN-SR72B/S Battery


In New York, he gave twenty-two readings at Steinway Hall between 9 December 1867 and 18 April 1868, and four at Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims between 16 and 21 January 1868. During his travels, he saw a significant change in the people and the circumstances of America. His final appearance was at a banquet the American Press held in his honour at Delmonico's on 18 April, Sony VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

when he promised never to denounce America again. By the end of the tour, the author could hardly manage solid food, subsisting on champagne and eggs beaten in sherry. On 23 April, he boarded his ship to return to Britain, barely escaping a Federal Tax Lien against the proceeds of his lecture tour.[18] Sony VGN-SR73JB Battery



Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens gave a series of "farewell readings" in England, Scotland, and Ireland, until he collapsed on 22 April 1869, at Preston in Lancashire showing symptoms of a mild stroke.[36] Sony VGN-SR74FB Battery

 After further provincial readings were cancelled, he began work on his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In an opium den inShadwell, he witnessed an elderly pusher known as "Opium Sal", who subsequently featured in his mystery novel. Sony VGN-SR74FB/S Battery


When he had regained sufficient strength, Dickens arranged, with medical approval, for a final series of readings at least partially to make up to his sponsors what they had lost due to his illness. There were to be twelve performances, running between 11 January and 15 March 1870, the last taking place at 8:00 pm at St. James's Hall in London. Sony VGN-SR90FS Battery

Although in grave health by this time, he read A Christmas Carol and The Trial from Pickwick. On 2 May, he made his last public appearance at a Royal Academy Banquet in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, paying a special tribute to the passing of his friend, illustrator Daniel Maclise.[37] Sony VGN-SR90NS Battery



On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home, after a full day's work onEdwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day, on 9 June, five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash (9 June 1865), he died at Gad's Hill Place. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral "in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner," Sony VGN-SR90S Battery

he was laid to rest in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.[40]A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads: "To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England's most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, Sony VGN-SR90US Battery

aged 58 years. He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world."[41] In his obituary published in The Times, Dickens's last words were reported to have been: "Be natural my children. For the writer that is natural has fulfilled all the rules of art.[42] Sony VGN-SR91NS Battery


On Sunday, 19 June 1870, five days after Dickens was buried in the Abbey, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley delivered a memorial elegy, lauding "the genial and loving humorist whom we now mourn", for showing by his own example "that even in dealing with the darkest scenes and the most degraded characters, genius could still be clean, Sony VGN-SR91PS Battery

and mirth could be innocent." Pointing to the fresh flowers that adorned the novelist's grave, Stanley assured those present that "the spot would thenceforth be a sacred one with both the New World and the Old, as that of the representative of literature, not of this island only, but of all who speak our English tongue."[43] Sony VGN-SR91S Battery


Dickens's will stipulated that no memorial be erected to honour him. The only life-size bronze statue of Dickens, cast in 1891 by Francis Edwin Elwell, is in Clark Park in theSpruce Hill neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The couch on which he died is preserved at the Dickens Birthplace Museum in Portsmouth. Sony VGN-SR91US Battery


His writing style is florid and poetic, with a strong comic touch. His satires of British aristocratic snobbery—he calls one character the "Noble Refrigerator"—are often popular. Comparing orphans to stocks and shares, people to tug boats,Sony VGN-SR92NS Battery

or dinner-party guests to furniture are just some of Dickens's acclaimed flights of fancy. Many of his characters' names provide the reader with a hint as to the roles played in advancing the storyline, such as Mr. Murdstone in the novel David Copperfield, which is clearly a combination of "murder" and stony coldness. His literary style is also a mixture of fantasy and realism. Sony VGN-SR92PS Battery



Dickensian characters, especially so because of their typically whimsical names, are amongst the most memorable in English literature. The likes of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Oliver Twist, The Artful Dodger, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Sony VGN-SR92S Battery

Pip,Miss Havisham, Charles Darnay, David Copperfield, Mr. Micawber, Abel Magwitch, Daniel Quilp, Samuel Pickwick, Wackford Squeers, Uriah Heep are so well known as to be part and parcel of British culture, and in some cases have passed into ordinary language: ascrooge, for example, is a miser. Sony VGN-SR92US Battery


The author worked closely with his illustrators supplying them with a summary of the work at the outset and thus ensuring that his characters and settings were exactly how he envisioned them.[45] He would brief the illustrator on plans for each month's instalment so that work could begin before he wrote them. Sony VGN-SR93DS Battery

 Marcus Stone, illustrator of Our Mutual Friend, recalled that the author was always "ready to describe down to the minutest details the personal characteristics, and ... life-history of the creations of his fancy."[30] This close working relationship is important to readers of Dickens today. The illustrations give us a glimpse of the characters as Dickens described them. Film makers still use the illustrations as a basis for characterisation, costume, and set design. Sony VGN-SR93JS Battery


Often these characters were based on people he knew. In a few instances Dickens based the character too closely on the original, as in the case of Harold Skimpole in Bleak House, based on James Henry Leigh Hunt, and Miss Mowcher in David CopperfieldSony VGN-SR93PS Battery

based on his wife's dwarf chiropodist. Indeed, the acquaintances made when reading a Dickens novel are not easily forgotten. The author Virginia Woolf maintained that "we remodel our psychological geography when we read Dickens" as he produces "characters who exist not in detail, not accurately or exactly, but abundantly in a cluster of wild yet extraordinarily revealing remarks."[46] Sony VGN-SR93YS Battery

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