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Celebrating the CHARLES DICKENS Bicentennary

‘No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.’ So, said the great writer Charles Dickens. He would have known for he walked the streets of London during the mid 19th century, seeing the poverty and destitution. As a result, he wrote compelling novels like Oliver and Great Expectations.

He was born in 1812 and his birthday is celebrated on February 7th – 200 years to the day. We are all the product of the times in which we live. Dickens recorded with chilling clarity the vicious and violent world that he found in what was called a civilized country.

Yes, he knew what he was writing about, as he had seen the inside of prison at the age of 12. His father was sent to jail for debt and the family went with him. As a result, Charles was sent to work in a dirty rat infested factory to earn a living for the family.

It was the start of an amazing career, that I have written about in a personal way in a story published recently. Although having to leave school early in order to work, Charles Dickens developed his ability to write and expose the social injustices that he discovered.

Therefore, as we celebrate his contribution to literature, let us also remember the causes he supported, especially the protection of children in need and their development through education.

Charles J Margerison

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