Today Google celebrates the 200th birthday of the greatest novelist of all-time. Which not only lets us revisits all of his accomplishments, but also gives us a sweet word for the day – bicentenary.
On this day, February 7, 1812, Charles John Huffam Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England. The son of a Navy pay clerk, Dickens’ father was imprisoned in debtor’s prison and Charles had to pay off his debt by working in a blacking factory. The cruel working conditions heavily influenced his writing and led his steadfast belief in improving labor conditions and reforming the socio-economic disparity of the poor.
Dickens worked tirelessly throughout his entire life. He created some of the most memorable characters and famous novels ever including:
- The Pickwick Papers
- The Adventures of Oliver Twist
- A Christmas Carol
- David Copperfield
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Great Expectations
And that’s just to name a few!
On June 8, 1870 after working a full day on his last written novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens suffered a second stroke and died the next day. Leaving a legacy that few have ever accomplished. His works have never been out of print, over 180 movies and TV adaptions have been made, and has sold over 200 million copies of his best-selling novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
His themes still resonate today with the complexities of capitalism, the problem with politics, and inherently immoral actions against the poor. It is a constant reminder of how far we have come and how far we still need to go.
Happy birthday, Charles Dickens. May the next generation enjoy your work as much as we all have.