Charles Dickens lived between 1812 and 1870 in Victorian England. The queen Victoria’s coronation in 1837 signals the beginning of what scholars call the Victorian novel, the genre in which Dickens specialized. “Victorian” has since become a broad term to suggest adjectives like “prudish”, “old-fashioned” and “earnest”. It was a period of many innovations in very different areas. For example, it reminds us of the industrial revolution, and in fact, at the time, Britain was the most industrialized nation in the world. This paralleled to a rigid social class division and the birth of the urban proletariat, which Dickens certainly tackled in his novels. On the other hand, those social disparities allowed new philosophic and ideological movements to grow, such as Marxism (Karl Marx) or Unionization of workers. At the same time, Charles Darwin published “The origin of species”, a work about evolution that contested the traditional assumptions one had about religion. The Victorian era is then an extensive subject, and I advise you to browse through the Victoria web.