“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”

–Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

 

Charles Dickens was born on this day, 7 February 1812. He is a world renowned English author and social-critic who was considered to be one of the most prolific authors of the Victorian Era.

Charles Dickens could not afford to get any formal education, but instead was forced to work in a blacking factory in very poor working conditions. However, he continued to teach himself and wrote many novels, novellas, short stories and articles without any formal training in writing. His books like Oliver Twist commented on the social conditions in Britain at the time, and in real life he also advocated for children’s rights, education and other important social reforms. Some of his most popular works included A Christmas Carol, Great expectations and the most important and widely known piece of historical fiction: A Tale of Two Cities. The wide reach of his works could be determined from the fact that most of his books were adapted in the form of plays and movies.

Charles Dickens left a lasting impact, as his works continue to be read throughout the world. His works are particularly popular as they are taught in schools every year. His contribution to classical English literature is still remembered as he is considered a literary genius by his contemporaries. The characters that he created in his books, such as Oliver Twist, are still very relatable for people from various class backgrounds.