Charles Dickens Dickens was raised in poverty. His father was put in debtor’s prison. His mother and younger siblings eventually joined their father in debtor’s prison.
Charles Dickens At the age of 12, he was forced to drop out of school to work. He was sent to Warren’s Blacking Factory, where he worked 10 hour shifts. His job was to paste labels on pots of black shoe polish. Warren’s Blacking Factory “The blacking-warehouse …was a crazy, tumble-down old house, abutting of course on the river, and literally overrun with rats. Its wainscoted rooms, and its rotten floors and staircase, and the old grey rats swarming down in the cellars, and the sound of their squeaking and scuffling coming up the stairs at all times, and the dirt and decay of the place, rise up visibly before me, as if I were there again.” –Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens Later, Dickens’ family received an inheritance, allowing his family to leave debtor’s prison. However, his mother did not immediately remove him from the factory. She fought to send him back. Later, he worked for a lawyer and as a reporter. "I never afterwards forgot, I never shall forget, I never can forget, that my mother was warm for my being sent back.“ –Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens These experiences never left Dickens. His novels include depictions of child poverty, debtor’s prison, cruel adults, factory life, courtrooms, and social injustice. His sympathy toward the poor, especially poor children is a strong theme in many of his writings. "I had no advice, no counsel, no encouragement, no consolation, no assistance, no support, of any kind, from anyone, that I can call to mind, as I hope to go to heaven!“ –from David Copperfield, Dickens’ most autobiographical novel
About A Tale of Two Cities 1859, A Tale of Two Cities published 1775–1793 Setting of the book 45 chapter novel Published in 31 weekly installments from April 1859 to November 1859