''It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.'' Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Charles John Huffman Dickens (1812–70) was born in Portsmouth to Elizabeth and John Dickens.  He was the second of seven children, and had three brothers and three sisters.  His father worked as a Navy Pay Office clerk in the local dockyard.  The family moved between London and Chatham as John was transferred between offices, setting up home in Camden Town in 1822.  Dickens endured an unhappy childhood due to his father’s debt, which eventually led to John’s incarceration in Marshalsea prison in 1824.  While the rest of the family resided at Marshalsea with John, the 12-year-old Dickens was sent to work at Warren’s Blacking Factory at Hungerford Market.  Three months later, his father was released from prison, and the family returned to their previous home in Camden Town.  

Dickens’s time at the blacking warehouse influenced his later works of fiction, with the themes of child mistreatment and child labour recurring throughout his novels. 

Comments on this article

? 10 November, 2009

he had a hard life

? 15 November, 2009

ya he did have a hard life

Shelia Hughes 7 December, 2009

I have recently launched a web-site ‘Freeclassicebooks’ ( where as the name suggests, classic books can be downloaded for free in PDF format for free. We are also including other useful information on the site such, for example, study aids for school projects, details of local events, links to other resources etc.

If you think this could be of interest to yourselves, could I suggest we possibly link to each other’s web-sites..?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

With kind regards,

Shelia Hughes

????????is my name 20 January, 2010

he had a tough life and i wouldnt of liked to be him

/// 28 May, 2010

hi's sister was called fanny!

////// 28 October, 2010

he was an amazing writer!!!!!

Hannah 30 October, 2010

It really helped on my project thanks !!!!

!!!!!!!!!! is my name 1 November, 2010

I can't believe his father went to prison

Jordan Michael D 11 November, 2010

dickens is a great writer and his books are really good

gh 22 November, 2010

thanks this helped

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