Charles Dickens Topic Guide

The author Charles Dickens is famous for his novels that show everyday life, especially for poor people, in Victorian England. Dickens himself was poor as a child, and he put that experience into his books.

The character David Copperfield in particular is based on Dickens’ own childhood. His books are still popular today and are often adapted for TV and films.

Teach your children about Charles Dickens using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas



Charles Dickens Facts

  • Charles Dickens was born on the 7th of February 1812 in Portsmouth, England.
  • At the age of 11, Dickens was sent to work at a bootblacking factory, where he stuck the labels on the pots of bootblack (polish).
  • Dickens was working on a novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, when he died. He did not leave any notes that show how he planned to end it.
  • Dickens’ books were originally published in monthly instalments in his magazine Household Words, not as complete books.
  • Dickens had a pet raven called Grip, who he put in his novel, Barnaby Rudge


Charles Dickens Song

This Horrible Histories song is fun and factual!

Running Time: 3:18

Charles Dickens Facts

This BBC Newsround film gives a brief overview of Dickens’ life.

Running Time: 1:53

A Christmas Carol – Scrooge – Children’s Version

Children will enjoy this rhyming version of the Christmas classic.

Running TIme: 6:34

Victorians: the filthy rich and the filthy poor

This video gives lots of information about the rich and poor in Victorian times.

Running Time: 4:06


A World Full of Dickens Stories

Eight well-loved Dickens stories, retold for children.

Charles Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (Easy Classics)

One of a collection of Dickens’ books, designed for children aged over 7.

Oliver Twist and Other Great Dickens Stories

A comic book retelling of some Dickens’ classics.

Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life

This terrific biography uses a graphic novel format to tell the story of Dickens’ life.

Vile Victorians (Horrible Histories)

Learn more about life during Victorian times.

Victorians (DK Eyewitness)

This illustrated book is full of information about Queen Victoria’s reign.

Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!

Free Preview Packs

Download our FREE Preview Packs!

Join our newsletter and we will send you free samples of our popular Teaching Packs by email!