In celebration of Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, Google is honoring the English novelist, who is considered to be one the greatest novelist of the Victorian period, by featuring a Google Doodle on its search home page. The Dickens Google doodle went up first in New Zealand and features characters from his novels including Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Pip.
Charles Dickens was born at Landport, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. However, after Charles was born, the family moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury, and then for a long period to Chatham, in Kent, which became Charles’ childhood home.
As a young boy, Charles spent most of his time outdoors, but also had reading as one of his hobbies. He read the novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding in an eagerly voracious manner. He was also exposed to many artistic and literary words that allowed him to increase his imagination level.
In 1833 Dickens’s first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine. He then published his journals in the form of sketches, which formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz in 1836. This led to the publication of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, in March 1836.
Within a few years, Charles was regarded as one of the most successful authors of his time, with two out of every ten people in Victorian England avidly reading and following his writings.
Charles Dickens’s Non-fiction Work
- Dickens as Editor and Co-Author
- American Notes (1842) text of ch.7 — illustrations
- Charles Dickens’s “Frauds on the Fairies” (text)
- Pictures from Italy — illustrations
- “The Lost Arctic Voyagers” (1854)
- The Uncommercial Traveller — illustrations
- “The Laboratory in the Chest” — A Dickensian Popularization of a lecture by Faraday (with Percival Leigh)
- “The Chemistry of a Candle” (with Percival Leigh)
- “The Chemistry of a Pint of Beer” (with Percival Leigh)
- “The Mysteries of the Tea-kettle” (with Percival Leigh)
- A Bundle of Emigrants’ Letters (1850)
In the year 1836, Charles married Catherine Hogarth. The couple were blessed with ten children before their separating in 1858. In 1860s, Dickens’ health began to deteriorate. 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.
On June 8, 1970, Charles suffered another stroke at his home. The next day, on June 9, Charlse Dickens breathed his last at Gad’s Hill Place. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral “in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner,” he was laid to rest in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.