22 Mysterious Charles Dickens Facts that You Might Know

Little friends, let me introduce you to Charles John Huffam Dickens or Charles Dickens.

He was an English writer and also social critic.

He created some of the best-known fictional characters in the world😲!

Also, he is considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works are widely read today.

So, in this article, we will discuss some really fascinating facts about this fascinating author.

Interesting Charles Dickens Facts

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth

Charles Dickens Was Born In Portsmouth

Hey there, little friends, did you know that Charles Dickens was born on June 7, 1812?

He was born in Portsmouth.

Throughout his lifetime, he has written 15 novels, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, five novellas, and also edited a weekly journal for 20 years😲.

Dicken’s name might have been about the devil

Shakespeare was the first individual to use the term ‘what the dickens’ in his fiction work, The Merry Wives of Windsor.

It was used as a euphemism for conjuring the devil😈. 

Also, author John Bowen explained in his work, Other Dickens: Pickwick to Chuzzlewit, that the name Dickens was utilized in place of the devil.

It could be for this reason that, in his early career, Dickens opted for the pen name Boz.

However, Dickens didn’t wish to be seen or compared to the devil. After the public started liking his works, he switched to his given name.

Dickens didn’t like the large family, and his wife

Dickens Didn’t Like The Large Family

Although Dickens seemed to have recovered from his breakup with Maria Beadnell, his first love💞, his marriage to Catherine wasn’t a happy one.

He even blamed Catherine for not being a good wife and mother.

Also, he was not pleased with the fact that he had ten children to support. Apparently, according to this amazing writer, this was Catherine’s fault!

He even found Catherine to be boring and dull!

At some point, he said that Catherine was not equal to him intellectually.

However, both Dickens and Catherine came from a large family. 

Catherine had 10 siblings, while Charles had 8.

Charles Dickens had a pet raven

Dickens had a raven 🐦‍⬛named Grip. It was not only a beloved pet but also featured in one of his works, Barnaba Rudge.

Dickens even said to his friend, George, that he always wished to write about a character who had a raven as a pet.

Grip inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write The Raven.

Later, Grip died after consuming lead paint chips and was replaced by another raven, also named Grip.

After the death of the second Grip, Dickens had it stuffed by a taxidermist and placed it in a wooden and glass case. Today it’s in the Free Library of Philadelphia!

Dickens had a secret door in his house

Dickens Had A Secret Door In His House

There was a secret door🚪 in Dickens’ study in the form of a fake bookcase.

These fake books had the title, The Life of a Cat, in 9 volumes!

The bookshelf was in his house at Gad’s Hill in Kent.

It had other fake book titles like Socrates on Wedlock, 47 volumes of History of a Short Chancery Suit, Kin Henry the Eight’s Evidence of Christianity, and also the series The Wisdom of Our Ancestors: I Ignorance, II Superstition, III The Block, IV The Stake, V The Rack, VI Dirt, and VII Disease.

The fake door led to a room where he had a Batman costume.

Dicken might have had epilepsy

According to a few indications, Dickens might have suffered from epilepsy. However, it was not corroborated by contemporary medical records.

However, Dickens did return to the neurological issue multiple times in his work. Hence, some speculate that he might have been influenced by his own experiences of attacks

Characters like Monks from Oliver Twist, Guster from Bleak House, and Bradley Headstone from Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend all suffered from epilepsy.

Another job taught Dickens how to write

Charles Dickens' Another Job

I am really surprised to explore this wonderful secret about Charles Dickens!

In 1827 and 1828, the 15-year-old Charles worked as a junior clerk at Ellis and Blackmore’s law office. 

However, instead of brushing up on legal works to become a lawyer, he voraciously learned the shorthand method of writing⌨️, which was developed by Thomas Gurney.

This interesting skill allowed him to start his work as a reporter in the 1830s. 

During that time, he even covered Parliament and British elections for outlets such as the Morning Chronicle.

Dickens had a pet cat, Bob

Love animals? Then you will surely love this fact!

Charles Dickens also had a pet cat 🐱named Bob, which accompanied him for many years. 

The author even declared once, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”

In the year 1862, when his beloved cat, Bob, died, the famous author had its paw stuffed and also mounted to an ivory letter opener. The letter opener had the inscription “C. D., In memory of Bob, 1862.”

Now, the letter opener is on display at the Berge Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library.

Charles Dickens was an amazing wordsmith

Charles Dickens Was A Wordsmith

Little fact-loves, have you heard this wonderful secret about Dickens’? No? Let me tell you.

Not to be outdone by the likes of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens was the other British author who was quite capable of creating words and phrases of his own.

Thanks to this amazing writer for some wonderful words and phrases like flummox, butter-fingers, dustbin, the creeps, slangular, ugsome, and many more.

Charles Dicken had written more than one Christmas stories

Like me, if you are a fan of the story A Christmas Carol, then you will definitely love this fascinating secret about my favorite author Charles Dickens!

Though A Christmas Carol is the most famous Christmas story of Dickens, he still wrote some other holiday-themed stories as well. 

Some of those are The Cricket on the Hearth, and The Chimes, which, again, deal with spirits.

While the former features another main character that goes through a Scrooge-like transformation of the heart!

Dicken’s last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood: It remains a mystery

Charles Dickens' Last Novel

Prior to his death, Dickens wrote half of a novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It was left unfinished in 1870 when he died of a stroke.

The story was about Edwin Drood, who was engaged to Rosa Bud. John Jasper, Rosa’s uncle, was fond of her like Neville from Ceylon.

However, later Rosa and Edwin broke off their engagement, and soon after, he disappeared!

Dickens didn’t hint on what may have happened to Edwin! Was he murdered? 

Some mediums have tried to rewrite the ending of this story through television films 🎬 and radio shows!

A Tale of Two Cities: It was the best-seller of the author Dickens

Love A Tale of Two Cities? Then you will definitely love this fact!

You have probably read this book or even heard about the title. This term is also used to compare two divergent situations in the same location! Right?

Being the master of wit, light-heartedness, and humor, Dickens used this skill when writing on some serious social issues.

This famous book uses grim and seriousness to tell about the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror in Paris 🌆!

This was one of the amazing historical novels written by Charles Dickens and also his best-seller. Impressive, isn’t it?

At a very young age, Dickens’ started working

Charles Dickens Started Working At Young Age

Dickens left to work in a factory when he was just 12 years old. This was after his father was sent to prison.

One of the very first jobs of Dickens was to paste labels on pots of boot blacking. It was in a factory by Charing Cross Station in London.

However, as you can imagine, for a 12-year-old boy, the conditions at this factory were not quite favorable. 

He could only earn 6 shillings a week. Later, he even painted a picture of his experience through his writing!

Catherine, Dickens’ wife, was also a published author

Dickens’ family was made up of established writers 🖋️.

Catherine, his wife, published her book in 1851. She wrote under a pseudonym, which was Lady Maria Clutterbuck. 

Her book was on cooking recipes 👩‍🍳that offered ideas about menus. The book’s title was What Shall We Have For Dinner?

The book catered from two to eighteen people.

However, Dickens’ biographer used the book against Catherine, stating that the meals cooked by her actually weighed him down.

Also, according to modern critics, the menu was too laden.

She was actually blamed for Victorian cooking, which was itself misrepresented!

Dickens didn’t need a formal education to be one of the greatest novelists

Dickens Didn’t Need A Formal Education

Little fact-enthusiasts, did you know this interesting secret about Dickens?

Dickens didn’t get a formal education, as he had to drop out of school 🏛️ in order to support his family.

However, this didn’t stop him from becoming one of the greatest novelists!

His second job was as a legal clerk. All of this was self-taught.

In the year 1863, Dickens published his first novel named, The Pickwick Papers, which marked the start of his career as a writer.

Later, he went on to be an international sensation who even voiced his opinions about society humorously.

Dickens always had things and furniture arranged in a certain order

Although there is no proof, many still believed that Dickens had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The reason was he would always rearrange the furniture in any hotel room where he stayed.

Also, it is alleged that Dickens would always inspect the bedrooms of his children and would point out what was not neat!

Either way, he always wanted things to be in order around him.

Little Red Riding Hood: It served as a source of inspiration for Dickens

In 1850, Dickens began overseeing a weekly publication named Household Words.

There he even contributed novels and short stories that were serialized.

In one of his first pieces for the publication, “A Christmas Tree,” he even described his earliest muse. 

It was the main character in the famous fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. It might be a way of dealing with his own childhood innocence consumed by unexpected evils.

Dickens wrote, “She was my first love. I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding Hood, I should have known perfect bliss. But, it was not to be.”

Dickens didn’t hesitate to express his opinions

Dickens’ friend, Captain Frederick Marryat’s daughter Florence Marryat, approached him for writing help. 

So, she submitted a short story to All the Year Round, a literary magazine that Dickens was managing.

In 1860, Dickens chastised Florence in a letter✉️.

He told her, “To read professed contributions honestly, and communicate a perfectly unprejudiced decision respecting every one of them to its author or authoress, is a task of the magnitude of which you evidently have no conception.”

Also, later he told her plainly, “I do not think it is a good story.”

Dickens was in a train crash

He was returning from France when his train crashed. It happened on June 10, 1865, while the train 🚆 was crossing a bridge and left his car hanging from the tracks!

Fifty-three-years old Dickens then helped save stranded passengers after finding out a conductor. 

That conductor offered him the keys🗝️ to the cars of the seven first-class railway that had fallen into the river below.

After everything was done, he crawled back into the hanging automobile to get a just completed missing installment of Our Mutual Friend. 

Actually, he had to send it to his publishers!

Charles Dickens didn’t actually like residing in America

Charles Dickens Didn’t Like Residing In America

In 1842, when Dickens made his first trip to America for a lecture tour, he had already gained international fame as an author. 

He was also well-received while visiting east coast 🌊 cities, such as New York and Boston.

He even complained in a letter about his trip, “I can do nothing that I want to do, go nowhere where I want to go and see nothing that I want to see. “ 

He also added, “If I turn into the street, I am followed by a multitude.”

Dickens perfected the cliffhanger ending

Dickens’ Oliver Twist and David Copperfield 📚were initially written in weekly, monthly, or infrequent installments in magazines or on a subscription basis. 

Hence, later, those were published as a book.

To do that, Dickens used cliffhangers from chapter to chapter to get curious readers to purchase subsequent episodes.

In an incident in 1841, American readers were so eager to know what happened in The Old Curiosity Shop that they actually flocked to docks in New York Harbor. 🚢 

They wanted to ask the passengers arriving from Europe if they had read the story or if the character Nell had died.

Death of one of the greatest authors

Dickens collapsed from a stroke while dining with Georgina Hogarth, his wife’s sister. Later, he died on June 9, 1870, at his home. 

He was buried⚰️ in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey because Arthur Stanley, the Dean of Westminster, wanted a famous author to give some cultural significance to the Abbey at that time.

Also, despite stipulating in his will that “no public announcement be made of the time or place of my burial,” lots of people lined up to walk past his body in Westminster Abbey!

Summing up

Charles Dickens…isn’t the person and facts about him really amazing😲!??

We have tried to gather as much information about this fascinating writer as possible…so that your treasure of knowledge is enhanced.

Hope you like them!!

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