Extrinsic Element (Mutual Friend)

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- Life
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, to John and Elizabeth Barrow Dickens. The second of eight children, Dickens spent his childhood on the southern coast of England, where he attended a good school until the age of eleven. The family then moved to London and shortly thereafter his father was sent to debtor's prison. Young Charles went to work in a blacking warehouse and was forced to live on his own in cheap lodgings in a state of near starvation. Although he was soon rescued by his father and sent to school in London, the brief period of abandonment and uncertainty affected his life and his writings for years to come. Dickens did not attend college but was admitted as a reader to the library of the British Museum, where he immersed himself in the study of great literature, particularly Shakespeare. He worked for some time as a clerk, as a shorthand reporter, and eventually as a news reporter for the Morning Chronicle, a position which required him to travel all over the country. -Career

Dickens's first success, both critical and popular, was Sketches by Boz (1836), a series of short pieces on life in London. His first novel, Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1837), was published, as were all of his novels, in serial form, and by the time the fourth monthly installment was issued, Dickens was the most popular author in England. His writing, once full of hope and optimism, grew increasingly pessimistic as he aged, with images of decay and corruption dominating the later works. Our Mutual Friend was his last completed novel; with its images of dustheaps and death, it is widely considered one of the author's darkest visions. In 1870, while working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens suffered an aneurysm in the brain and died the next day. He was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. - Dickens’ Works

Over the next thirty years, he continued to...
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