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Literary Genres

Charles Dickens
(1812 – 1870)

    He was born in Portsea in 1812. His father was clerk in the Navy Office and had very little money. At the age of nine they moved to London where his father got into debt and he was sent to the prison Marshallsea. Charles had to interrupt his studies and his mother sent him to the factory where blacking was made. After some time his father inherited some money and Charles returned back to school. At the age of fifteen he was taken to the solicitor’s office, but he didn’t enjoy it. He learned shorthand and became a reporter on the Morning Chronicle.
    He stared to write stories and soon his stories were published in the newspaper and later his stories were published in the book “Sketches by Boz “. Boz was nickname of his favourite brother. In his twenty-fifth year he became one of the best-known writers in the country. He became rich and he married daughter of his first publisher.  They had seven sons and two daughters. After twenty-two years of marriage he left her for another woman (maybe his mistress).
    In his works he enjoyed life, but hated social system into which he had been born. In his novels he describes and attacks many kinds of unpleasant people and places (bad schools, headmasters, government departments, bad prisons, dirty houses…) His characters include all kind of people in the British society, but the majority is the group of poor people. He liked to read his own works. The work he liked the most is David Copperfield, which has many autobiographic elements. He describes work in the factory, problems of his father. Like most other people Charles loved Xmas and he wrote one story about it.

Christmas Carol
Scrooge and Marley were business partners, but Marley died and Scrooge was the only owner of the company. Scrooge was tight-fist man .He was hard and sharp as a flint from which no steel had ever struck out the generous fire. He was very mean and he didn’t honour Christmas. He had cold sole and cold in his office influenced his appearance too. He had nipped pointed nose, shrivelled cheek, red eyes and blue lips. Anyone ever asked him, and anyone ever talked to him. He considered Christmas as holidays for nothing and he was very unpleasant at it. One day his nephew and invited him to join Christmas dinner. Scrooge refused. After this the ghost of Marley visited him and told him that three Christmas Spirits would visit him. Spirits came. They were Christmas Past, Christmas and Christmas Future and he saw his whole life and his death and funeral too. He decided to change his mind and he became a new man. He bought a big turkey for his poor clerk and he started to communicate with his environment. He also came to visit his nephew’s family and have Christmas dinner with them. He was new man, who honour Christmas.

Oscar Wilde

    He was novelist, playwright, poet and critic .He was born in 1854 in Dublin. His father, Sir William Wilde, was Ireland's leading ear and eye surgeon. His mother was a revolutionary poet and an authority on Celtic myth and folklore. Oscar inherited his talent after his mother. He studied at Trinity Collage in Dublin. After he had finished it he studied Oxford University. He was very good in poetry. His poem Ravenna from this time won the Newdigate Prize. During his studies at Oxford he was influenced by English innovators like Pater or Ruskin. He was also influenced by Bohemian lifestyle, which influenced his appearance. He wore long hairs and velvet breeches. His rooms were filled with various objects d’art. The first book, which he published was Poems. He published it on his own expense. Wilde agreed to lecture it in the USA and Canada and when he arrived to the New York, he proclaimed his most famous sentence: “I have nothing to declare, except my genius.”
    In 1884 he married Constance Lloyd a daughter of an Irish barrister. They had two sons. In spite of this he was homosexual. He made a clean breast of this in the addition of The Decay of Lying. He made a clean breast of the closer friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas. The family of Marquees of Queensberry prosecuted Wilde; he refused to flee and he was put in the prison. During the time, when he was in prison he bankrupted and after he had been released he went to Paris, where he spent the rest of his days. He died in 1900.

A Picture of Dorian Gray
    Talented painter Basil Hallward got acquainted with a very, very beautiful young gentleman Dorian Gray. He was fascinated with him, with his intelligence and appearance and couldn´t live without his presence. Hallward started to paint him and one day introduced Dorian to his friend, cynical and sarcastic lord Henry Wotton. Lord Harry´s philosophy of life and living influenced Dorian a lot, so in the fit of vanity said he: "I wish I could be young and beautiful all my life, forever.” His wish came true
    Dorian fell in love with young and talented actress Sibyla Vane. Dorian’s attitudes to her caused that Sibyla committed suicide. Dorian started a decadent way of his life; his only aim was to enjoy beauty and delights. His face stayed young and beautiful in the same way as when he was twenty years old, but his picture grew old and became more and more ugly.
    He realized how he had changed and he destroyed the picture. He pierced it with the knife and he actually killed himself. He had a heart attack. The face in the picture changed. He was beautiful as a young man.

Agatha Christie

    She was the world’s most successful detective story writer. Her sales outnumbered those of William Shakespeare. She was born in 1890 in Devon. She didn’t go to school; she was educated by her mother. Her father died when she was 11 years old. During the World War I. she was working in a hospital dispensary and she learned everything about the poisons, which proved very useful in her late career. Her first detective novel was The Mysterious Affair. She introduced Hercule Poirot, who appeared in her subsequent novels. In 1914 she married Archibald Christie, but the marriage was unhappy. In 1926 they divorced and in the same year her mother died. One night she disappeared with her car and she was found after 11 days in a Harrogate hotel. Media gave her hard time after her disappearance and she had never opened her private life again. In 1952 her most famous work was introduced in London, The Mousetrap. He married Max Mallowan an archaeologist and she loved him very much. Her detective skills helped him in the excavations in Iraq and Syria. She died in 1976.

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