Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of writer Charles Dickens.
Born on Feb. 7 1812 in Landport, England, Charles John Huffam Dickens grew in tough, working-class conditions. At age 12, after his father was thrown into a debtors’ prison, he was forced to work at a blacking factory.

This experience later influenced many of his famous novels, including Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

Starting his career as a journalist, Dickens eventually started writing literary prose, which was published in monthly installments before being released as books.

His realistic portray of England’s lower-class life made him one of the greatest Victorian novelists and one of the most recognizable names in literature.

Dickens was also a philanthropist; together with Angela Burdett Coutts he founded the Urania Cottage, a home for “fallen” women, helping them learn to read and write.

Dickens died from the consequences of a stroke in his home on June 8, 1870. His last words were, reportedly, “Be natural my children. For the writer that is natural has fulfilled all the rules of art.”