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Charles Dickens was born near Portsmouth, England and educated at Warren's Blacking Factory and the Wellington House Academy. His first sketches of urban life were published in the Monthly Magazine and his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was serially published. After becoming editor of Bentley's Miscellany, he wrote a number of novels, including Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, American Notes, A Christmas Carol, Pictures from Italy, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and Our Mutual Friends, among others. When he wasn't writing, he advocated international copyright and the abolition of slavery, founded the "Daily News," directed and acted in a number of amateur theatricals, toured Italy with Augustus Egg and Willie Collins, left his wife Catherine Hogarth for the actress Ellen Ternan, burned a number of his personal letters, feuded and reconciled with the novelist Thackeray and gave public readings throughout England and Scotland. He now resides in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

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