Charles Dickens is beloved and famous for being one of the best and most influential writers in history and for good reason. His tales painted incredibly vivid pictures, and his characterizations of people were considered so in-depth and accurate that when an author does a good job of making characters seem three-dimensional today, they are called “Dickensian.”
Dickens, as most people are aware, started off with a very difficult life. Back in the day, if you had debts that you couldn’t pay, you would end up in debtor’s prison. This happened to Dickens’s father. As a young boy, Dickens had to work in a factory in order to help pay back the money that his father owed. He saw many bleak hardships as a child, and it greatly influenced his writing. It also hardened him as a person, and many people don’t realize just how much his early trauma affected him.
To most of the world he was a beloved author, but to his wife, Charles was quite different. After 18 years of marriage, he decided to start seeing a pretty, young actress, because after bearing many children, his wife Catherine no longer had the looks and vitality that she had once possessed. However, while some people would simply get a divorce, Dickens did far worse. He let the kids visit her, but he did not really approve of it, and he took them all away. He maligned her in the press, saying she was impossible, useless, fat, and lazy. He insulted her terribly and said that she was a poor mother and that her children did not even love her. In spite of this horrible abuse, she continued to care about him until the day she died, even though Dickens never once apologized for his awful actions and hardly spoke to her for the rest of his life.