Charles Dickens is probably the best-known and, to many people, the greatest English novelist of the nineteenth century. Since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol has been adapted for film, television, and the stage, proving that Dickens's characters and themes continue to captivate generation after generation.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833, he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of ThePickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.