By Maximilian Clarke

From Google to the BBC to the Royal Family, institutions across the globe are marking the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens.

Hailed as the arguably the world’s first literary superstar, Dickens enjoyed a success and recognition from his works that was hitherto unheard of. But it was not simply popularity Dickens won with his literature, but a far reaching respect from his public service and philanthropy.

Born in Portsmouth at the onset of a period of transition within English society, Dickens soon moved to Kent where the formative years of his childhood were spent consuming a wide range of literature.

By his early twenties Dickens had begun writing, though initially as a journalist; a career move that helped shape both his literature and his ability as a social commentator.

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