Charles John Huffam Dickens (born February 7, 1812, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England – died June 9, 1870, Higham, Kent, England) was an English writer, journalist, and illustrator considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.
In addition to writing, Dickens promoted other writers in his journals, fought for children’s rights and education, and concerned himself with social issues.
Despite the lack of formal education, Dickens wrote 15 novels, five 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 English authors. His novels and fictional characters continue to inspire many artists across the world.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.Oliver Twist (1838), (ed. 1904), Chapter XIV, Page 74
Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.Great Expectations (1861), (ed. 1875), Chapter XL, Page 385
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), Book III, Chapter XV, Page 254
Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.Oliver Twist (1838), (ed. 1904), Chapter XXXVII, Page 207
Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he’s well dressed.Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), Chapter V, Page 50
The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none.Sketches by Boz (1836), (ed. 1854), Part I, Chapter V, Page 17
The worst of all listeners is the man who does nothing but listen.All the Year Round (June 6, 1874) Volume 12, Issue 288, The Art of Listening, Page 179
No one who can read, ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot.Our Mutual Friend (1865), Book I, Chapter III, Page 15
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), Book I, Chapter XXIII, Page 224
Ask no questions, and you’ll be told no lies.Great Expectations (1861), (ed. 1875), Chapter II, Page 14
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), (ed. 1875), Chapter XXXVIII, Page 353
A good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.Chapter XXXVII, The Pickwick Papers (1837), Chapter XXXVI, Page 398
Ideas, like ghosts, must be spoken to a little before they will explain themselves.Dombey and Son (1848), Chapter XII, Page 118
Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.Our Mutual Friend (1865), Book III, Chapter II, Page 364
A loving heart was better and stronger than wisdom.David Copperfield (1850), Chapter IX. I Have a Memorable Birthday, Page 96
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), (ed. 1909), Chapter VI, Page 357
If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.The Old Curiosity Shop (1841), (ed. 1853), Chapter LVI, Page 255
Find more about Charles Dickens on Amazon
Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you’ve conquered human nature.Nicholas Nickleby (1839), Chapter V, Page 36
Throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.Great Expectations (1861), (ed. 1875), Chapter XXVII, Page 252
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), Chapter XXVIII, Page 272
The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.Barnaby Rudge (1841), Chapter LXXIX, Page 507
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), Chapter XXX, Page 324
Great men are seldom over scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.The Pickwick Papers (1837), Chapter II, Page 5
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), Chapter 11, Page 176
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)(ed. 1854), Part III, Chapter II, Page 134
What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.A Christmas Carol (1843), Stave I. Marley's Ghost, Page 7
The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.Nicholas Nickleby (1839), Chapter III, Page 22
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for any one else.Our Mutual Friend (1865), Book III, Chapter IX, Page 432
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), Stave III, Page 105
Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.Great Expectations (1861), (ed. 1875), Chapter XXVII, Page 259
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Book I, Chapter I, Page 1
It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.David Copperfield (1850), Chapter XXIII, Page 245
The habit of paying compliments kept a man’s tongue oiled without any expense.The Old Curiosity Shop (1841), (ed. 1853), Chapter XXXV, Page 158
There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.The Pickwick Papers (1837), Chapter LVI, Page 607
Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), Chapter XXVII, Page 335