“In all of English literature, his creativity is rivaled only by Shakespeare's.”
Charles Dickens Charles Dickens was the son of John and Elizabeth Barrow Dickens. John was a navy paymaster and couldn’t manage money.
Debtor’s Prison In 1824, John Dickens was thrown into a debtor’s prison. His whole family had to work off his debt.
Debtor’s Prison Had Joe not paid Pip’s debt, he would have been sent to prison. Irony: consider how much Pip disdains prison system.
Warren’s Blacking Factory In 1824 at age 12, Dickens was pulled from school so that he could work to help pay his father’s debt.
Warren’s Blacking Factory The experience in the factory was very traumatic, and Dickens resented his parents greatly. This is reflected in almost all of his works. With Dickens, there are few happy, complete families.
Charles Dickens In the factory, he makes shoe polish and vows to NEVER be poor again. His kids never knew that he worked in a factory.
Maria Beadnell In 1830, he meets Maria Beadnell, whom he loves. She is very wealthy and thinks that he will amount to nothing. They date briefly, but she breaks up with him in 1833.
Maria Beadnell Critics often say that Estella in Great Expectations is modeled off this ex- girlfriend.
Maria Beadnell In 1850, Dickens is the most famous person in the world. Maria writes to him– but he is married with kids. They meet, and she is fat, ugly, and immature.
Catherine Hogarth In 1836, Dickens married Catherine Hogarth. She is described as a “modestly intelligent, unimaginative, and young woman when he was twenty-four and she twenty-one.”
Catherine Hogarth However, after having ten children, Catherine became fat and clumsy. She began to remind Dickens of his mother.
Ellen Ternan In 1857, after being married 20 years, he blames his wife for always being fat and pregnant. He separates from her after meeting 18 year old actress Ellen Ternan.
Great Expectations Great Expectations was published in 1860-1861 Autobiographical Dickens’ darkest work Well-received by public
Autobiographical Poverty of a young boy Mistreated by family Unrequited love Discomfort with rise to gentleman status
Characteristics Written in 1 st person (this was a new technique—Jane Eyre). Had two endings (more on that later). Serialized
Serialized Novels Victorian novels were serialized- published a few chapters at a time in newspapers or magazines. Mudies- like Blockbuster for books.
Charles Dickens Dickens dies at the age of 58 from a stroke. He was in the middle of a novel– The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Pip’s sister tells her that “Hulks are prison- ships, right ‘cross the marshes” (14).
An old forge and cottage believed to be the inspiration for the home of Joe Gargery, that simple, gentle giant of a village blacksmith, who is such a friend and ally to Pip in Great Expectations.
Restoration House was so called because Charles II stayed here in 1600 on his way to reclaim England's throne. In Great Expectations Dickens used it as the model for Miss Havisham's Satis House and has Pip describe it thus: "I had stopped to look at the house as I passed, and its seared red-brick walls, blocked windows, and strong green ivy clasping even the stacks of the chimneys with its twigs and tendons, as if with sinewy old arms, had made up a rich attractive mystery, of which I was the hero.”
Chapter 20-21 Pip Meets London “I was content to take a foggy view of the Inn through the window’s encrusting dirt, and to stand dolefully looking out, saying to myself that London was decidedly overrated” (174).
PopulationYear 1 million 1800 1.75 million 1831 2.4 million 1850 4.5 Before 1900
The River Thames (TIMS)- was 800-1500 feet wide and flowed through the city.
Pip and his friends attempt to help Magwitch escape on the River Thames.
At 8:00 am the sky turned black. Lamps had to be lit during the day. The smoke extended 4 miles beyond the city. People would wander into the Thames and drown.
Streets were full of horse waste and mud. No sewage system- chamber pots were thrown into street, and waste was dumped in river. No one wore light colors.
In 1832, 445 were killed per week Total- 6,700 Later killed 15,000 From dirty water and waste
Amount Sold Animal180,780Cattle 1,360,250Sheep 254,672Pigs 22,500Calves
In the middle of city- only way to get fresh meat Tons of animal waste and guts flowed into street- no drainage…
“So, I came into Smithfield; and the shameful place, being all asmear with filth and fat and blood and foam, seemed to stick to me. So, I rubbed it off with all possible speed by turning into a street where I saw the great black dome of Saint Paul's bulging at me from behind a grim stone building…” (165).
Alcatraz of the day; Hard core criminals Wemmick and Pip visit one of Jaggers’ clients there in chapter 32.