Great Expectations

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, England to John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow. Despite his parents’ best efforts, his family was poor. In 1816, the family moved to Chatham, Kent, where young Charles and his siblings played in the countryside and explored the old castle at Rochester. In 1824, Charles’ father John was sent to prison because of debt, forcing the family to send Charles to a lower class factory job, where he worked long hours. This is where he says he lost his youthful innocence, and the topic became a evident theme in his writing. His writing career started as a freelance reporter, moving on to sketch under the pseudonym “Boz”.

Once he began to write novels, he would go on to become one of the greatest English writers of all time. With Classics such as
(1850), he was launched to become one of the first modern celebrities. In London, people would recognize him as walked up and down the streets. He toured America twice, enjoying the attention that his books brought but after awhile he reportedly disliked the invasion of privacy. In 1865, Dickens suffered from a train accident known as the Staplehurst Railway accident and never fully recovered. He died from a stroke on June 9, 1870.

This map shows where Dickens focused most of his writing. It shows where he lived and the places he wrote about in his novels.

Great Expectations was published in 1861, and is set from 1812-1840. In the 1860’s, many important events were happening in both England and the United States that may have influenced Dickens and other English writers.

Education funding becomes based off students’ performance.
Teacher performance was tested to make sure that the tax money was being properly appropriated. The English government tested student’s ability to read, write, and arithmetic to make sure that the tax dollars were used appropriately. This helped make sure that no one could take advantage of...