June 10, 1996
Originally from Newfoundland, Jeremy Young entered the Community Academic Services Program (C.A.S.P.) of the John Howard Society of Saint John, New Brunswick in September 1995 after working in the fishing industry for a while. His goal was to upgrade his academic studies and write the G.E.D. exam in order to meet the entrance requirements of the New Brunswick Community College. When we last heard of Jeremy, he was awaiting the results of his exams. Jeremy is twenty-two years old and is keenly interested in reading although he got the idea for this essay from watching a movie.
Charles Dickens was an English author, born in Landport. His father was John Dickens, who was a clerk in the navy pay office.
In 1821 the Dickens family fell into trouble, reforms in the Admiralty made his father redundant and they had to leave Chatham, and move to London, where they bought a small house in Camden Town.
They were just settled in when John Dickens was soon arrested for debt in 1824 and sent to the Marshalsea prison with his whole family, apart from Charles who was sent to work in a blacking factory at Hungerford Market, where with half a dozen rough boys he labelled the blacking bottles.
On Sundays he visited his parents in prison. When his father was released they all moved back to Camden Town. Charles was sent back to school to an academy in the Hamptead Road, for three to four years, after which he worked for a solicitor as an office boy.
Meantime however his father had obtained a post as a reporter for the Morning Herald. Charles decided also to attempt the profession of journalist. He taught himself short hand, and he visited the British Museum daily to supplement some of the shortcomings of his reading.
In 1828 he became a reporter of debates at the House of Commons for the Morning Chronicle, but at the time he was only interested in being an actor.
It was not until 1835 that he succeeded in getting permanent employment on the staff of a London paper as a reporter and in this capacity he was sent around country. Along the way he also did sketching, this increased his salary.
In 1836 he married Catherine, the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, editor of the Morning Chronicle. They had seven sons and three daughters between 1837-1852. They separated in 1858. Then in fulfillment of publishers engagements he published Oliver Twist (1837-39) He also published Hard Times (1854) Bleak House (1852-53) Dombey and Son (1846-48), pictures from Italy (1845) and many, many more. This is just a few of the great stories published by Charles Dickens.
Today thousands of people enjoy reading Charles Dickens work, both those in and out of school. Charles Dickens died in 1870 in Gadshill, near Rochester and was buried in Westminister Abbey. We all can learn something from Charles Dickens life, is that if you have a dream and don't follow through, you should have another dream to follow, because everyone has a reason for being on this earth. With courage and hard work it should emerge.
This essay is being published with the kind permission of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick