November 27, 2015

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

An influential English author and critic from the Victorian period.


  • Full Name: Charles John Huffam Dickens
  • Pseudonym: Boz
  • Date of Birth: 7 February 1812
  • Place of Birth: Landport, Portsmouth, England
  • Baptism: 4 March 1812, Portsmouth, England
  • Zodiac Sign: Pieces
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 9 June 1870
  • Place of Death: Higham, Kent, England
  • Cause of Death: Stroke
  • Place of Burial: Westminster Abbey, London
  • Father: John Dickens (1785–1851)
  • Mother: Elizabeth Dickens (née Barrow; 1789–1863)
  • Siblings: 7 Nos.
  1. Sister: Frances Dickens (1810-1848)
  2. Brother: Alfred Dickens (1814)
  3. Sister: Laetitia Mary Dickens (1816-1874)
  4. Sister: Harriet Dickens (1819)
  5. Brother: Frederick William Dickens (1820-1868)
  6. Brother: Alfred Lamert Dickens (1822-1860)
  7. Brother: Augustus Newnham "Moses" Dickens (1827-1868)
  • Marriage: 2 April 1836 at St. Luke's Catholic Church
  • Spouse: Catherine Thomson Hogarth (1816–1879)
  • No of Children: 10 Nos.
  1. Son: Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (1837-1896)
  2. Daughter: Mary Dickens (1838-1896)
  3. Daughter: Kate Macready Dickens (1839-1929)
  4. Son: Walter Landor Dickens (1841-1863)
  5. Son: Francis Jeffrey Dickens (1844-1886)
  6. Son: Alfred Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912)
  7. Son: Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872)
  8. Son: Henry Fielding Dickens (1849-1933)
  9. Daughter: Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851)
  10. Son: Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens (1852-1902)
  • Known for: creating complex plots and a wide varieties of striking characters that captured an all-encompassing picture of the Victorian English society.
  • Criticized for: harboring racist views.
  • Influences: William Shakespeare (1564–1616), Miguel de Cervantes (1547—1616), Honoré de Balzac (1799—1850), Washington Irving (1783—1859), Henry Fielding (1707—1754), Laurence Sterne (1713—1768), Jane Austen (1775—1817), Victor Hugo (1802—1885), Sheridan Le Fanu (1814—1873).
  • Influenced: Karl Marx (1818—1883), Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), George Orwell (1903—1950), Mark Twain (1835—1910), Anne Rice (1941—), John Irving (1942—), and George R. R. Martin (1948—).


"Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Major Themes

  • Victorian society
  • Class Distinction
  • Poverty
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Free Will
  • Suffering
  • Identity
  • The Abuse of Power
  • Family
  • Christian Values
  • Morals and Ethics
  • Politics

Notable Works:

  • Curiosity Shop
  • Oliver Twist
  • Nicholas Nickleby
  • Barnaby Rudge
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Martin Chuzzlewit
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • David Copperfield
  • Great Expectations
  • Bleak House
  • Little Dorrit
  • Hard Times
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • The Pickwick Papers

Did You Know?

  • Dickens is one of the voluminous writers of the Victorian era.
  • Although his father John Dickens held a respectable position of a clerk in the British Navy, he had little social status.
  • Dickens concealed the background of his paternal grandparents since they were servants.
  • Dickens was the second of eight children of his parents.
  • Dickens grew up in adverse poverty since his father was always entangled in debt.
  • His father, John Dickens was put into the debtors’ prison in 1824.
  • During his father's imprisonment, Dickens couldn't attend school since he was sent to work in Warren’s Blacking Warehouse, a shoe-polish factory.
  • Even thought the shameful incident of his father's imprisonment and his working experience in the shoe-polish factory shaped his writing, Dickens could not confide these even to his wife.
  • His first love was Maria Beadnall, but the relationship could not progress since her banker father disliked Dickens.
  • On 2 April 1836, at the age of 24, Dickens married Catherine Thomson Hogarth, the daughter of George Hogarth, the editor of the Evening.
  • The couple was blessed with the first child, Charley in January 1837.
  • His marriage to Catherin was largely unsuccessful.
  • When he was 45 years old, Dickens fell deeply in love with the 18-year-old Ellen Ternan and decided to divorce his wife Catherine.
  • Majority of his novels published in monthly or weekly instalments.
  • The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens’s first novel.
  • Dickens is credited for establishing the method of publishing novels in serial installments in monthly magazines.
  • Dickens reached the pinnacle of his success with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers.
  • Dickens became a full-time novelist after the success of his The Pickwick Papers.
  • His novels are still printed today because of their enduring popularity.
  • Although he had little formal education, Dickens became an exceptionally successful writer.
  • His last work Mystery of Edwin Drood was unfinished since he died of a stroke in 1870.


“Charles Dickens.” 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 11 November 2015
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“Charles John Huffam Dickens” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

November 6, 2015

In Greek mythology Selene (also called Mene) is the Titan goddess of the moon. Her Roman counterpart is Luna. Pursuant to prevalent accounts, she is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia and a sister to Helios(Roman equivalent: Sol) and Eos (Roman equivalent: Aurora). However, some other sources ascribe her as the daughter of Hyperion and Euryphaessa, or of Pallas and Euryphaessa, or of Zeus and Latona, or lastly of Helios.

Luna by François Léon Benouville (1821-1859), French painter
Selene is often associated with other moon goddesses such as Artemis (Roman equivalent: Diana) and Hecate (Roman equivalent: Trivia). However, in artworks they are distinguished as three different deities. In essence, neither Artemis nor Hecate was worshipped singly as the moon goddess, rather they were revered for a number of purposes. For instance, Artemis was worshiped as the goddess of chastity, virginity, the hunt, the moon, and the natural environments.Again, Hecate was worshiped as the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. On the contrary, Selene was venerated solely as the personification of the moon itself. Due to her association with Artemis, her brother Helios is identified with Apollo (also called: Phoebus). Consequently, Selene is frequently called Phoebe (fem. of Phoebus).

In art, Selene is portrayed as a very beautiful young lady with an exceptionally pale face. She usually dressed in a long robe and had a lunate crown above her head. Like her brother Helios, Selene journeyed across the sky in a silver chariot drawn by two winged horses. However, in some artworks her chariot was drawn by two oxen or mules and her crown was resembled more like the horns of a bull. Selene started her journey soon after her brother Helios completed his. Myths account that she bathed in the sea before initiating her journey across the sky.

She is best known for her passionate love for Endymion, the handsome son of Zeus, who is diversely known as either a shepherd, or a hunter, or a king. Selene was so attracted with Endymion’s unmatched beauty that she granted him the gift of everlasting youth from Zeus. Another account relates that Selene was so deeply moved by the way Endymion looked while he was asleep in a cave that she requested Zeus to keep him like that forever. Still another myth suggests that Selene was so obsessed with Endymion that she asked Zeus to allow him to decide his own destiny. Accordingly, Zeus granted her request and Endymion chose to sleep eternally without having susceptible to aging or death. It is said that while Endymion dreamt of holding the moon in his arms, Selene bore him fifty daughters representing the fifty lunar months of an Olympiad, the four-year span between Olympic Games.

Selene and Endymion (detail), by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), French Baroque painter

Different sources refer that she had a few other love affairs. For instance, by her affair with Zeus, Selene became the mother of three daughters: Pandia, the Goddess of Brightness, Ersa, the Goddess of Dew, and Nemea, the Mountain Goddess. There is also another myth that Pan, the god of shepherds and flocks seduced Selene and gave her the gift of a white horse.

Diana (Selene) and Endymion, by Jérôme-Martin Langlois (1779-1838), French Neoclassical painter

Diane et Endymion by Émile Louis Foubert

Endymion and Selene 1650s by Filippo Lauri (1623-1694), Italian Baroque Era Painter

Endymion and Selene, (1713) by Sebastiano Ricci (1659 –1734) Italian painter, Chiswick House, England

Selene and Endymion by Edward John Poynter, English painter (1836-1919), Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester


“Luna” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

“Selene.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene - Goddess of the Moon.” The White Goddess. 2015. The White Goddess. 20 Sep 2012

“Selene.” Greek Mythology. 2015. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2015. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Loggia. 2008. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Encyclopedia Mythica. 2015. MCMXCV-MMIX Encyclopedia Mythica. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Theoi. 2015. Theoi. 20 Sep 2015

“Selene.” Greek Myth Index. 2007. Myth Index. 20 Sep 2015

 “Selene” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

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