Charles Dickens and Samuel Clemens (1812-1870) (1835-1910) Charles Dickens and Samuel Clemens lived in different parts of the world, England and America. Charles Dickens was twenty-three years old when Samuel Clemens was born. Charles Dickens was a boy who loved learning, while Samuel Clemens could hardly wait for school to end. Despite the fact that both authors reference Christianity and its customs, historians believe that Charles Dickens was a Christian whereas Samuel Clemens was not. The similarities between Charles Dickens and Samuel Clemens are numerous. Both authors are world famous legends who wrote many novels, created many characters, had an autobiographical character, and based characters on people in their lives.
Samuel Clemens used the pen name Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, for a brief time, used the pen name Boz. Both authors worked as journalists and wrote until the day they died. Their life experiences were reflected in their writings and the period in which they wrote was merely an account of what was really happening in history. England in the early years of the seventeenth century enjoyed the regency of the Prince of Wales, went to war with the United States and watched Napoleon's final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. During this time, one of the world's greatest morally and socially responsible novelists, Charles Dickens was born in Portsea, England in 1812.
Charles was the second child and the oldest son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. Charles' early years were happy especially during the ages of 5-9. He loved school, was imaginative and had a hunger for reading. Charles Dickens: A Literary Life page 47 describes the collection of books in the attic that Charles would read as if it were a matter of life or death.
Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, Arabian Nights and The Tales of the Genii, was reading material not suitable for a child, yet all of these stories influenced the novels Dickens would eventually write. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. Charles had a carefree life. He and his friends wore white beaver hats and called themselves Giles' Cats. His parents had many parties and invited many friends, but the problem was that they spent more money than they had. By the time Charles was ten his family had lived in six different houses and each one was poorer and poorer than the one before.
There were eight children and the family fell deeper and deeper into debt. It was a time in England when schools were not funded by the state, so eventually Charles was unable to attend school anymore because his family couldn't afford it. Frequently, Charles was sent to the pawnshop to sell some books to pay for food. After his twelfth birthday Dickens began working at Warren's Blacking Factory. Then, his dad was arrested for debt and sent to prison and the young Dickens, suffering humiliation, went to the streets. These unpleasant years in Dickens's life left wounds that would resurface in characters about orphans and others less fortunate.
Then Charles' mother died, his dad finally got out of prison, and Charles was sent back to school until he was fifteen. He learned how to write shorthand and very soon got a job as a court reporter. Later he became a journalist and worked as a reporter for the True Sun and the Mirror of Parliament. During this time he met Maria Bead nell. For four years Dickens would write her poems and letters, but her parents didn't like Dickens. When Maria's parents found out about Charles' past, Maria was sent to Paris to finish her education.
Charles Dickens was heartbroken. Dickens began taking long walks down streets observing people. He watched the people he passed-the rich " swells" in their jackets and beaver hats, refined ladies who rode in carriages, shop girls and rowdy drunks, pickpockets and fishmongers, and ragged children who slept in doorways (Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema 14). He would write about these people and use them in stories that he would create. One day he dropped one of his stories into a letterbox of the Monthly Magazine. When the issue came out, the story was there.
He had named this story A Dinner at Poplar Walk. He began writing more stories and would drop them into the same box. He went under the pen name of Boz, which was an old family baby name. His stories became so popular that someone even published a book called Sketches by Boz. Dickens had made enough money to marry so he chose a lady named Catherine Hogarth.
One day an artist named Robert Seymour came to Dickens and asked him if he could write some paragraphs about the pictures he had drawn. That gave Dickens the idea of writing one of his own books and Seymour could illustrate them. And so The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (or, more commonly, The Pickwick Papers) began. The Pickwick Papers were famous and people began selling Pickwick hats, Pickwick canes, coats, cigars, and joke books. Charles Dickens had become world famous at the age of twenty-five. Dickens began writing Oliver Twist.
He focused mainly upon the poor places where children would have to work until night doing dangerous tasks. It was a powerful novel that focused on Poor Law. Dickens began writing about this for the rest of his life, describing this pitiless world in rich detail (Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema 17). Other novels Charles Dickens wrote that showed Victorian history and dealt with social issues were Barnaby Ridge (Gordon riots), A Tale of Two Cities (French Revolution), Hard Times (industrial problems of capital versus labor inspired by a weavers's trike), Little Dorr it (social system is compared to a prison) Great Expectations (ideals of society are examined), and Our Mutual Friends (deals with many social issues). Some of Dickens' other novels were Nicholas Nickle by, American Notes, A Christmas Carol, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dom by and Son, and Bleak House.
Charles Dickens' autobiographical character was David Copperfield in David Copperfield. Other characters were based on real people in his life. Nell from The Old Curiosity Shop was based on Charles Dickens's is ter in law, Mary Hogarth who died suddenly at the age of seven-teen. In David Copperfield Mr. And Mrs. Micawber were modeled after Charles Dickens' parents.
Pip in Great Expectations represented Dickens's on who was growing up into a snob. Ebenezer Scrouge, Tiny Tim, Uriah Heep, Mrs. Gamp, Sam Weller and Mr. Pecksniff are are a few of Dickens' most famous characters. It was 1835 and Halley's Comet had passed earth. Another phenomenon, Samuel L.
Clemens, was born in Florida, Missouri, in November of 1835. Like Dickens, Samuel had lots of siblings. He was the sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampoon. He grew up in a good family but he lived in a rather poor area. Back then Florida was a small town but Clemens' father who was a lawyer, believed in its future, so he established a small business there.
Soon he lost faith in Florida and in 1839 moved his family to Hannibal, a small town near the Mississippi River, when Clemens was only four years old. Hannibal provided a good mix of the two styles of living; the frontier life plus Southern tradition. Here blacks were assumed to be slaves. Unlike Charles Dickens, Samuel Clemens was a very mischievous boy as he grew up in the small river town of only 2000 inhabitants. He had a small group of pranksters and he absolutely hated going to school. He stopped attending school at the age of twelve when his father passed away.
He then began working for his brother Orion at the Hannibal Journal. Over the next few years, Clemens became restless. He got out of Hannibal in 1853 and went to St. Louis then traveled to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Iowa as a journalist.
Clemens decided that he wanted to become a river pilot at the age of twenty-four, but this was soon put to a halt due to the Civil War. He then began mining for gold, but after being unsuccessful he went back to writing. Clemens joined the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise and established himself as a reporter / humorist . In 1863 he began calling himself Mark Twain, which means "safe navigation conditions." In 1869, Twain wrote his first book called Innocents Abroad, which sold 67, 000 copies within its first year. Twain was prosperous. Twain then wrote Roughing It.
Next Twain wrote The Gilded Age. This was Twain's first work of fiction that made him known as an author rather than a journalist. As it says in the web page sponsored by Classic Notes, Mark Twain is seen not only as an author, but also as a personality that defined an era. Mark Twain throughout his life created many famous novels, speeches, and writings. In 1851, his first nationally published articles appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. In 1863, he first uses the pen name of Mark Twain.
In 1865, Twain published Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog. This gained Twain national literary fame. In 1876 Mark Twain published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (based on his life experiences on the Mississippi) followed by The Prince and the Pauper (first historical novel). In 1884 Mark Twain starts a publishing company with his relative, Charles L. Webster. Then he published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was filled with characters from Twain's life experiences. In Hannibal Sam witnessed many murders. One night for instance, when he was eight, he found a dead man in his father's office. Another time he saw a widow use a musket to kill a rowdy stranger who threatened her. The stranger killed by the widow became part of the chapter titled "Injun Joe's Revenge" in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. One of the characters, Tom Sawyer, was a very mischievous boy.
Despite his good heart, he was always getting himself and his friends into trouble. Toward the end of the novel, Tom becomes more of a leader and takes his responsibilities more seriously. Of course Tom Sawyer is Samuel Clemens! And another character, Aunt Polly, is really Tom's aunt and guardian. She is a kindhearted woman who loves Tom very much but at the same time tries to discipline him into a good boy. Huckleberry Finn shares Tom's gift for adventure and getting into trouble, just like Sam's childhood friends.
Other famous characters created by Clemens were Becky Thatcher, Injun Joe, Muff Potter, and Sid. It seems that both Charles Dickens and Samuel Clemens were familiar with the Bible and knew Christianity well. Most scholars tend to agree that Mark Twain did not believe in the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible or in the divinity of Jesus Christ. It is evident that his razor sharp tongue made fun of people and their devotion to every word in the Bible. Quotes from Mark Twain reveal that he knew the Bible well and was willing to voice his opinion. A website contains a Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations and various opinions with religious satire.
"The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery form the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetics in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve." (Mark Twain, a Biography). "I found out that I was a Christian for revenue only and I could not bear the thought of that, it was so ignoble." (Mark Twain in Eruption). "If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be-a Christian." (Mark Twain's Notebook). "Christianity will doubtless still survive the earth ten centuries hence-stuffed and in a museum." (Notebook, 1898). "You can never find a Christian who has acquired this valuable knowledge, this saving knowledge, by any process but the everlasting and all sufficient 'people say.' In all my seventy two years and a half I have never come across such another ass as this human race is." (Mark Twain's Autobiography).
Charles Dickens, however, not only reinforced Christianity but even converted nonbelievers during Christmas with the classic A Christmas Carol. The strength of this novel was such that everyone would read and reread this novel at Christmas time. Charles Dickens' ethics remained those of orthodox Christianity and he wrote from a Victorian middle-class position (Encyclopedia Americana 9). And in an article published on the internet by Christian History entitled The Faith Behind the Famous: the conclusion about Dickens is the following. "Some of his novels mercilessly lampoon Christians.
Yet the great Victorian author also wrote a reverent account of Jesus' life." Charles Dickens and Mark Twain spent the last 15 years of their lives as authors. In addition to writing, Charles Dickens enjoyed acting. Just as his novels could manipulate the reader's emotions, Dickens discovered that his dramatic readings of imitating voices of different characters could evoke terror and grief in his audience. He was driven by all the money he knew he could make so he traveled and traveled until his health began to deteriorate.
He decided on a "farewell tour" whereby he would perform one hundred readings. Unfortunately, during reading seventy-four he suffered a mild stroke that forced him to retire from the stage. On the last night, with tears in his eyes Charles Dickens said, "From these garish lights, I now vanish forevermore, with a heartfelt, grateful, respectful, affectionate farewell" (Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema). Even though Dickens retired to his little Swiss chalet, Gad's Hill Place, hoping to recover his health, he continued working on a novel; his last. The Mystery of Edwin D rood was never finished and Dickens died in the year 1870, at the age of 58 after a massive stroke. In addition to writing, Samuel Clemens spent the last 15 years of his life lecturing.
In 1895 he gave an around-the-world tour and paid off all of his debts. The University of Yale and the University of Missouri both awarded Samuel with honorary doctor of letters degrees in 1901 and 1902. In 1906 Clemens gave a farewell lecture at Carnegie Hall in New York City. And Mark Twain's writings reflected a darker side as compared to the novels of boyhood experiences.
Mark Twain's final works of literature were titled The Diaries of Adam and Eve, What Is Man? And Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven. It was April 21, 1910 when Mark Twain died, just after Halley's Comet had passed. In the book Biography of Mark Twain by Aller, Susan it says that Samuel Clemens had commented that he knew that Halley's Comet was coming that year, the first time since his birth in 1835 and he thought that he would... ." go out with it...
The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these unaccountable freaks: they came in together, they must go out together." Oh! I am looking forward to that." Works Cited-Stanley, Diane and Vennema, Peter. Charles Dickens-The Man Who Had Great Expectations. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. , 1993 Smith, Grahame.
Charles Dickens-A Literary Life. Great Britain: St. Martin's Press, 1996"Twain, Mark" Encyclopedia Americana. 27 th ed. , 2001." Dickens, Charles" Encyclopedia Americana 9 th ed.
, 2001 Press, Skip. The Importance of Mark Twain. California: Lucent Inc. , 1994"Twain, Mark." Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions.
web Twain, Mark and Michael, J Ki skis. Mark Twain's Own Autobiography- The Chapters form the North American Review Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990 Johnson, Edgar. Charles Dickens-His Tragedy and Triumph New York: Penguin, 1986. Clemens, Clara. My Father, Mark Twain. New York, London, Harper & Brothers, 1931..