List of contents: The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities.
Born in 1812, Charles Dickens' early life in Portsmouth and London was to shape his literature. When his father, a naval clerk, was imprisoned for debt, 12 years old Charles was removed from school and sent to a blacking warehouse where he laboured under miserable conditions for 3 years, until his father, who had inherited some money, was able to return him to school (although his mother, whom he never forgave, whished to keep him at work.). His experience was never forgotten and became fictionalised in two of his most famous novels: "David Copperfield" and "Great Expectations".
Dickens' popularity has never waned, indeed he has truly become a national institution. While critics may point to lack of structure, caricatures and pathos, they cannot demean his ability to write powerful epics, to portray in vivid detail a world that, thankfully, no longer exists and to create colorful characters who have become household names - all this with a warmth and intensity of feeling second to none.