Born on 7 February, 1812, Charles Dickens was not only the most famous writer of his day, but, during the second half of his career, also a prominent public figure known through his readings and speeches. He cultivated, and relished, a close relationship with the vast audiences who came to hear him, in towns and cities throughout Britain, and in the USA. As an actor he took on the visage and gestures as well as the voice of his characters; audiences were spellbound.
As the country celebrates Dickens’ birth, find out how to read Great Expectations, his characterisation, critics, fantasies and desires here.
Discover more about Dickens, English literature, creative writing, and the latest research here.
Find out more about Dickens 2012 here.
Read renown Dickens expert Prof Dennis Walder.