Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41). A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843, David Copperfield in 1850. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage. He published Hard Times in 1854, A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 and Great Expectations in 1860. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and he died on 9 June 1870. David Trotter is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature and Head of Department at University College London. Charlotte Mitchell is Lecturer in English at University College London.
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