Did Charles Dickens die a pauper?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Dickens did not die a pauper, in fact he was quite wealthy at his death. He was, however, a pauper in his youth. When his father was sent to debtor's prison, a young Dickens was forced into a workhouse, where he labored in the shoeblacking industry. After his father's release, however, Dickens began working as a legal reporter and a law clerk, and achieved recognition as a writer with the publication of Pickwick Papers in his mid-twenties. While Dickens suffered some personal misfortune, including a messy end to his marriage, he became the wealthiest and the most celebrated writer of his day, earning large sums from both his books and making public appearances. He toured both Europe and the United States, conducting public readings of his works for fees, which made him large sums of money but also taxed his health. He died in financial comfort and as a celebrity at his home in 1870 after returning from a final tour of the United States. 


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