Articles about Education

The life of Charles Dickens

Feb 2024

Charles Dickens was born 212 years ago today! One of the greatest authors of his time, his books are still widely read today, and his work is even featured on the Kumon Recommended Reading List. This is the perfect time for us to share some interesting facts about this influential figure:

  • Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth and moved to London in 1815 when his dad's job was transferred there.


  • Dickens was sent out to work in a factory at 12 years of age, and had to support his family when his father was imprisoned. His job was to put labels on pots of boot blacking, used to polish leather shoes.


  • As a child Dickens suffered with poor health, but these bouts of sickness meant he spent much of his time reading, exposing him to novels such as Robinson Crusoe and The Arabian Nights which influenced his later writing.


  • Dickens wrote 15 novels, five novellas and countless articles and short stories, and many are still household names today. A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield (which features on the Kumon Recommended Reading List), The Pickwick Papers, Bleak House, and more are some of his best- known works.


  • Charles Dickens is credited with introducing over 200 words to the Oxford English Dictionary, including 'butter-fingers' and 'cheesiness'.


  • Initially Dickens wrote as a journalist under the pen-name 'Boz', while he was working as a parliamentary reporter for The Morning Chronicle.


  • In 1846, he became editor of a newspaper called the Daily News, but disliked being told what he could or couldn't write so started his own magazine, Household Words.


  • Charles and his wife Catherine Hogarth had ten children, but separated in 1858 after 21 years.


  • In 1865, Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst Rail Crash, thankfully his first class carriage was the only one not to be derailed.


  • Dickens was featured on the UK £10 note from 1992 to 2003.


  • He is buried in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey.