From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (February 7 1812 – June 9 1870), pen-name "Boz", was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era, as well as a vigorous social campaigner. Considered one of the English language's greatest writers, he was acclaimed for his rich storytelling and memorable characters, and achieved massive worldwide popularity in his lifetime.
Later critics, beginning with George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton, championed his mastery of prose, his endless invention of memorable characters and his powerful social sensibilities. Yet he has also received criticism from writers such as George Henry Lewes, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf, who list sentimentality, implausible occurrence and grotesque characters as faults in his oeuvre.
The popularity of Dickens' novels and short stories has meant that none have ever gone out of print. Dickens wrote serialised novels, which was the usual format for fiction at the time, and each new part of his stories would be eagerly anticipated by the reading public.
He was acquainted with American writer Edgar Allan Poe.
The Ghost of Art
A critique of modern art?
- I go to all the Modern Exhibitions every season, and of course I revere the Royal Academy. I stand by its forty Academical articles almost as firmly as I stand by the thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. I am convinced that in neither case could there be, by any rightful possibility, one article more or less.
- 'Why, it stands to reason,' said the Model. 'Work another week at my legs, and it'll be the same thing. You'll make 'em out as knotty and as knobby, at last, as if they was the trunks of two old trees. Then, take and stick my legs and throat on to another man's body, and you'll make a reg'lar monster. And that's the way the public gets their reg'lar monsters, every first Monday in May, when the Royal Academy Exhibition opens.' --Charles Dickens in The Ghost of Art. wikisource.org
The Americans ignored his British copyright
- Though Dickens was irritated that the Americans ignored his British copyright, he adapted and devised a way to get paid anyway, by doing public readings of his works in the US. The artists and writers of the future will adapt to practical possibility. Many have already done so. They are, after all, creative people. wired.com/wired/archive/8.10