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Reading and Vocab: Charles Dickens

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This month sees the release of a new film, 'The Invisible Woman', about the life of Charles Dickens directed by Ralph Fiennes. The film focuses on the writer's relationship with Nelly Ternan, but how much do you know about Charles Dickens? Read the following text and match the words in orange to their definitions.

Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. His books often highlighted the struggle of the poor in the UK, injustice and hypocrisy. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period.

Dickens was driven to achieve success from the days of his boyhood. With little formal education, he taught himself, worked furiously at everything he undertook and rocketed to fame as a writer in his mid-twenties. Success came with the publication of ‘The Pickwick Papers’, which was published a monthly series between April 1836 and November 1837. From this point on, he was able to quit his job as a reporter and focus on writing full-time.

Over the course of his writing career, he wrote the beloved classic novels Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.

Dickens was a prolific writer and it is believed that over-work caused his premature death at the age of 58. On June 9, 1870, Dickens died of a heart-attack in Kent, England.

Match the orange words to their definitions:

  • 1) Happening too soon or earlier than usual:

  • 2) Very much loved:

  • 3) To deal with something that is difficult:

  • 4) Producing a large amount of something (adjective):

  • 5) The period from 1837–1901 when Queen Victoria ruled England:

  • 6) To increase quickly and suddenly:

  • 7) Very fast (adverb)