One of the giants of English literature, Charles Dickens, was born 200 years ago on February 7, 1812.
The author of such beloved works as David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities, Dickens remains a potent literary touchstone and still speaks to audiences today. Marked by his own experience of child labour, Dickens was a tireless social campaigner. His books exposed the glaring inequalities of the Victorian age while capturing its hurly burly creative force.
Assoc. Prof. Suzy Anger
Dept. of English; President, Northeast Victorian Studies Assoc.
• Dickens was the most popular novelist of his day, a literary celebrity. He was a man of almost superhuman energy, able to write two novels at once, while also editing a journal, acting in amateur theatricals, establishing a home for fallen women and giving virtuoso public readings of his novels.
• Dickens was one of the first urban novelists, documenting a newly industrialized society. He was also one of the first writers to introduce the figure of the detective in the novel.
Prof. Ira Nadel
Dept. of English
• Victorian Dickens is still a modern and very relevant to 21st century life.
• Dickens portrayal of women is more important than ever for his documentation of subjection and abuse. For a male writer, he understood the opposite sex.
• Dickens’ style adopted by many writers of today from Nabokov to Pynchon and David Foster Wallace: dense, detailed, descriptive.