In his adult life Dickens developed a strong social conscience, an ability to empathise with the victims of social and economic injustices.
In a letter to his friend Wilkie Collins dated September 6, 1858, Dickens writes of the importance of social commitment: “Everything that happens […] shows beyond mistake that you can’t shut out the world; that you are in it, to be of it; that you get yourself into a false position the moment you try to sever yourself from it; that you must mingle with it, and make the best of it, and make the best of yourself into the bargain” (Marlow, 132).
Each volume presents contemporary responses to a writer's work, enabling students and researchers to read for themselves, for example, comments on early performances of Shakespeare's plays, or reactions to the first publication of Jane Austen's novels.
The carefully selected sources range from landmark essays in the history of criticism to journalism and contemporary opinion, and little published documentary material such as letters and diaries.
Indirectly, he contributed to a series of legal reforms, including the abolition of the inhumane imprisonment for debts, purification of the Magistrates’ courts, a better management of criminal prisons, and the restriction of the capital punishment.
Dickens was a great moralist and a perceptive social commentator.
Also, remember that any material you draw from the site should be clearly referenced in essays or project work.] Many websites contain only minimal biographical information.
Some of the more useful ones are:- Charles Dickens Page has always been one of Dickens' popular and most widely-read novels, so it is not surprising that it attracted the attention of the emerging film industry in the early twentieth century.
Dickens showed compassion and empathy towards the vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of English society, and contributed to several important social reforms.
Dickens’s deep social commitment and awareness of social ills are derived from his traumatic childhood experiences when his father was imprisoned in the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison under the Insolvent Debtors Act of 1813, and he at the age of twelve worked in a shoe-blacking factory.