Charles John Huffam Dickens (/ /; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens was forced to leave school to work in a factory when his father was thrown into debtors' prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.
A period piece is a work of art set in, or reminiscent of, an earlier time period.
In the performing arts, a period piece is a work set in a particular era. This informal term covers all countries, all periods and all genres. It may be as long and general as the medieval era or as limited as one decade—the Roaring Twenties, for example.
Abel Magwitch is a fictional character from Charles Dickens’ 1861 novel, Great Expectations.
Charles Dickens started his story in about 1800, setting his character Abel Magwitch to meet a man called Compeyson at the Epsom Races. Compeyson, Dickens wrote, had been brought up in a boarding school and was a good-looking and set up gentleman. Magwitch, at the same time, began a relationship with a mentally unstable woman named Molly, who later stood trial for murder. Jaggers, her defense attorney, convinced the jury that she was too weak to have strangled the woman. Jaggers was convincing, and Molly was acquitted and became (unknown to Magwitch) Jaggers’ maidservant. The story relates that Molly had given birth to Magwitch's daughter, who was about two or three years old at the time of Molly's trial. Molly told Magwitch that she had destroyed the child, and as far as Magwitch knew, his daughter had indeed died.
Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel. It is his second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. Great Expectations is a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age novel, and it is a classic work of Victorian literature. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in serial form in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.
Great Expectations was to be twice as long, but constraints imposed by the management of All the Year Round limited the novel's length. Collected and dense, with a conciseness unusual for Dickens, the novel represents Dickens' peak and maturity as an author. According to G. K. Chesterton, Dickens penned Great Expectations in "the afternoon of [his] life and fame." It was the penultimate novel Dickens completed, preceding Our Mutual Friend.
John Wemmick is a fictional character in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations. He is Mr Jaggers' clerk and the protagonist Pip's friend. Some scholars consider him to be the "most modern man in the book." Additionally, Wemmick is noted as one of Dickens' "most successful" split characters, insofar as Wemmick's character represents an exploration of the "relationship between public and private spheres in a divided existence."
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain (//), is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain (a term sometimes loosely applied to the whole state), the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state: the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea in the east, the English Channel in the south and the Irish Sea in the west.