Charles Dickens (1812–1870) began his writing career as a journalist, covering the London courts and Parliamentary debates in the House of Commons.
His work as a reporter taught him to write quickly to meet deadlines, and his excellent observational skills helped him to succeed in that profession. In turn, that profession provided him with a rich vein of material for his fictional works.
Dickens began publishing stories in 1833, and many of the earliest appeared under the pen name "Boz," the childhood nickname of his younger brother. His first book, Sketches by Boz, was published in 1836. His second book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in monthly installments and became a huge international hit, launching Dickens's career as a full-time novelist.
Over the course of that illustrious career, Dickens wrote almost ceaselessly and published two dozen novels, tales, Christmas books, and works of nonfiction. Thanks to Project Guttenberg, you can find most of these works online as free downloads.
Dickens and Massachusetts: The Lasting Legacy of the Commonwealth Visits
You can also find a wealth of Dickens resources online and in print, including a new book on Dickens and Massachusetts. Our top picks include: