One of England’s greatest authors, Charles Dickens, died on 9th June in 1870. He had started school at the age of nine, but had to leave when his father was imprisoned for debt. Charles Dickens was then aged twelve, and he had to get a job to support himself. He found work in a shoe polish factory, but felt humiliated and not in control of his own life. This experience would haunt him for the rest of his life. Later he would write a book called ‘David Copperfield’, which reflected his own difficult experiences as a child.
Dickens used some of his novels to point out that many people suffered greatly at that time in Victorian England. These stories were a good way of encouraging people to look at how they might help make their part of the world a better place.
His stories were printed as a serial in a London newspaper. Dickens was in great demand as a public reader of his novels, which he tended to act out as he spoke.
Charles Dickens died in 1870. Queen Victoria wrote of him in her diary, “He is a very great loss. He had a large, loving mind, and the strongest sympathy with the poor.” He was buried in Westminster Abbey beside the graves of the nation’s kings and queens and other famous people.
We can reflect on some words written by Charles Dickens:
“Some great people make others feel small, but the real great people are those who make others feel great.”
Let’s pause in silence to think just how we might help someone today to ‘feel great’ about themselves.
Lord, our God,
May I learn to treat others generously,
With respect, and with care and understanding,
That we may all
Bring out the best in one another.