Charles John Huffam Dickens (born February 7, 1812, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England – died June 9, 1870, Higham, Kent, England) was an English writer, journalist, illustrator, and one of the most important novelists of the Victorian era.
In addition to writing, Dickens also promoted other writers in his journals, fought for children’s rights, education, and concerned himself with social issues.
Despite the lack of formal education, Dickens wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas, and hundreds of short stories, essays and non-fiction articles. His most well-known works are Oliver Twist (1837 to 1839), A Christmas Carol (1843), Dombey and Son (1846 to 1848), David Copperfield (1849 to 1850), Bleak House (1852 to 1853), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1855 to 1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1860 to 1861).
Dickens enjoyed great popularity during his lifetime and was one of the most-read of English authors. A large number of motion pictures and TV adaptations are based on Dickens’ works. His novels and fictional characters continue to inspire many artists across the world.
Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.Our Mutual Friend (1865)
Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.Sketches by Boz (1836)
What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.A Christmas Carol (1843)
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.Great Expectations (1861)
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.David Copperfield (1850)
Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.Oliver Twist (1838)
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for any one else.Our Mutual Friend (1865)
Throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.Great Expectations (1861)
The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none.Sketches by Boz (1836)
Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you can keep him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people.Nicholas Nickleby (1839)
The worst of all listeners is the man who does nothing but listen.'The Art of Listening,' All the Year Round (June 6, 1874)
The habit of paying compliments kept a man’s tongue oiled without any expense.The Old Curiosity Shop (1841)
There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.The Pickwick Papers (1837)
No one who can read, ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.Our Mutual Friend (1865)
A person who can’t pay, gets another person who can’t pay, to guarantee that he can pay. Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs, to guarantee that he has got two natural legs. It don’t make either of them able to do a walking match.
Also known as: Credit is a system whereby a person who can not pay gets another person who can not pay to guarantee that he can pay.Little Dorrit (1857)
While there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.A Christmas Carol (1843)
To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.
Also known as: Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.Master Humphrey's Clock (1840)
When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.The Pickwick Papers (1837)
Great men are seldom over scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.The Pickwick Papers (1837)
I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.Great Expectations (1861)
A good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.Chapter XXXVII, The Pickwick Papers (1837)
I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.Hunted Down (1859)
Ideas, like ghosts, must be spoken to a little before they will explain themselves.Dombey and Son (1848)