Charles Dickens was a British novelist, journalist, editor, illustrator and social commentator who wrote such beloved classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.
Throughout his career Charles Dickens was associated in various ways with journalism. Having ended his brief period of formal education at fifteen, he took a job as a solicitor’s clerk, which he disliked intensely. He began learning shorthand according to the current system, Gurney’s, in preparation for a career as a reporter. It was the first step in his pursuit of an ambition to become a independent, professional writer and he was a skilled practitioner of shorthand.
Dickens completed 14 novels in his lifetime leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished at his death in 1870. Dickens wrote numerous shorter works of fiction, including five Christmas Books, the first of which, A Christmas Carol, has become an enduring classic.