Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. His father was a clerk and he earned little money. Later in 1822 Charles's family moved to London. Then his education was interrupted by the need to take a poorly-paid work in a factory. He had a very difficult childhood because his father got into debt and he was taken to prison. Charles had never forgotten this terrible experience. When he was 11 years old, he became a solicitor's clerk and one year later - a newspaper reporter. When he was 13, his first short story was published anonymously and he did not receive any money for it. In 1826 he began writing under his pen name 'Boz'. In his novel he was describing the living conditions of the poor in England.

During his lifetime he met Catherine Hogarth, and he married her. They had 10 children. Dickens later visited USA, where he was very famous. Between 1837 and 1865 some of his finest writing was published. He also wrote many stories in instalments, for example: 'Oliver Twist', 'David Copperfield', 'Christmas Carol'.

In 1858 Dickens and his wife were separated. He began to work very hard so that he eventually became exhausted and ill. He died in 1870 and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.