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Celebrating, this year, the centenary of one of our greatest masters of fiction, Charles Dickens. Feeling the loss of his son, Charles Tennyson Dickens, who passed away yesterday. Forming an estimate of the genius of Dickens with some knowledge of the conditions of the times into which he was born; some history. The literary world at the time of Dickens' birth in 1812. Social and political conditions in England at the time of his birth, 20 years before the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. A time of suffering, of conflict, of expansion, of progress. Dickens' father as the model for Micawber in "David Copperfield." Details of Dickens' early life. Responses to Dickens' early writing. Origins of Dora. A comparison of Dickens' writing with that of Thackeray and Scott. Dickens' early fame. Dickens, coming to the world as an apostle of love to the children of poverty. Dickens' mission and enduring fame. The humorous element in the novels of Dickens, with several examples. Reaction to the author's death in 1870.