Sketches by Boz: with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd

9780099533580: Sketches by Boz: with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd

Charles Dickens's first published piece of fiction, Sketches by Boz, began as a series of tales about a young reporter whose articles chronicle the lives of many colourful characters, including child workers and prostitutes, living and working in London in the 1830s. Often drawing on Dickens's own experiences these tales, by turns humorous and heartbreaking, hint at the unforgettable characters and stories to come in his later novels.

This remarkable collection, which travels from the sordid gin shops of central London to the ramshackle parish elections in Richmond and beyond, marked the beginning of Dickens's long and successful career as one of the world's most well-loved authors.

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Charles Dickens was born in Hampshire on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office, who was well paid but often ended up in financial troubles. When Dickens was twelve years old he was send to work in a shoe polish factory because his family had be taken to the debtors' prison.Fagin is named after a boy Dickens disliked at the factory. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays began to appear in periodicals. The Pickwick Papers, his first commercial success, was published in 1836. In the same year he married the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, Catherine Hogarth. The serialisation of Oliver Twist began in 1837 while The Pickwick Papers was still running. Many other novels followed and The Old Curiosity Shop brought Dickens international fame and he became a celebrity America as well as Britain. He separated from his wife in 1858. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey

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