Modern Library, Paperback, 9780375757846, 480pp.
Publication Date: September 6, 2005
The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic is taken from the 1846 New Edition, revised and corrected by the author. It includes new explanatory notes and an appendix, "A Brief History of the English Poor Laws.
On Friday, February 7, 1812, the famous Victorian literature author, Charles John Huffam Dickens was born. Raised by parents John and Elizabeth, Charles began his life in a middle class home in the No. 1 mile end Terrace of Landport, Portsmouth, England. As a young boy, Dickens was taught to read by his mother and was formally educated between the ages of 9 and 15. Charles' father considered him to be a 'young prodigy.' He was often sent to tell stories to clerks at the navy pay office, where his father worked. At the age of 12, Dickens father was imprisoned for debt. As a means of helping his mother support his 7 brothers and sisters, Charles was removed from school and sent to work at a boot blacking factory. Earning very little money and surviving off of small portions of food, Charles was forced to live in the attic of a woman's home while the rest of his family resided in prison with their father. After his father was released from prison, Charles chose to continue his life in the work force and held jobs at a lawyer's office and also as a reporter. During his time as a reporter, Dickens' writing career began to lift off. His first published story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk, was printed when he was only 21 in Monthly Magazine in December of 1833. With a new career as an author, Dickens began to write numerous short stories and novels which were published in either weekly or monthly segments in newspapers and magazines. As he began to become more and more well known, Dickens chose the name "Boz" to sign his works. Later in his career, Charles met Catherine Hogarth and quickly fell in love. The two were wed on April 2nd, 1836. Although their relationship was not without its ups and downs, the pair had 10 children together. In 1858, Charles and Catherine separated, but they continued to live together until her death 20 years later. Throughout his career, Dickens wrote 15 novels and many short stories. Growing up in the height of the Industrial Revolution, many of Dickens' themes focused on the negative treatment of the poor in urban areas. Working at the boot blacking factory as a child seemed to be his most life-changing experience as many of his stories' themes reflect this particular time of his life.
Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, in 1946. He has won many awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His acclaimed trilogy, His Dark Materials, has been published in thirty-nine languages. . The Amber Spyglass, the trilogy s astonishing finale, was the first children s book in history to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. It was also nominated for the Booker Prize. When he is not writing books, Pullman enjoys drawing, woodworking, and playing the piano. He lives with his family in Oxford, England.
"The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads."
--William Makepeace Thackeray