Charles Dickens was an English novelist who was born in Portsmouth in 1812 and became one of the giants of literature. He wrote from his own experiences, especially those from his childhood when his father was imprisoned for debt and he was forced to work in a blacking warehouse. Among his most famous books are A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield. Dickens started out in 1833 by writing sketches of London life for periodicals that were later published as Sketches by Boz. He went on to write burlesque sporting sketches that gave him early fame. Dickens's novels appeared first in monthly installments and were later made into books. His imagination led to the creation of characters such as Mr. Pickwick, Uriah Heep, Miss Havisham, and Ebenezer Scrooge, all of whom have become household words. Charles Dickens married in 1836 and fathered ten children. He died in 1870, leaving a legacy of work that depicts the sights, sounds, and smells of London and the customs of his day.