Author(s): Charles Dickens; Hablot Knight Browne
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 theseason 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, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way-- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...'
Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Landport in Portsmouth. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office who often ended up in financial trouble. When Dickens was twelve years' old he was sent to work in a shoe polish factory because his father had been imprisoned for debt.In 1833 he began to publish short stories and essays in newspapers and magazines. The Pickwick Papers, his first commercial success, was published in 1836, the same year that he married Catherine Hogarth. The serialisation of Oliver Twist began in 1837 while The Pickwick Papers was still running. Many other novels followed and Dickens became a celebrity in America as well as Britain. He also set up and edited the journals Household Words (1850-9) and All the Year Round (1859-70). Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870 leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.