Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 in Portsmouth, where his father was the oldest of a large family, eight in all. He got his education at a small day-school and from his mother, who was a well-educated woman. In 1821 the Dickens family moved to London. Mr. Dickens was heavily in debt. The few possessions that they had were sold one by one, and finally Mr. Dickens was taken to prison for debt. Later Mrs. Dickens and the younger children went to the prison, too, to join their father. Charles got a job at a blacking factory in the East End of London. He was lonely and hungry and hated the coarse, rough boys with whom he had to work.

Soon his fortunes took a turn for the better. He was able to enter a lawyer’s office. He learned shorthand and was able to do some reporting in the House of Commons for newspapers. In 1834 he was taken on the staff of a newspaper, «The Morning Chronicle». In 1836 «Pickwick Papers» came into being. At one stride Dickens became the most popular living novelist and held this position until his death. The rest can be told in a few words. He poured out novel after novel - «Oliver Twist», «Nickolas Nickleby», «The Old Curiosity Shop», «David Copperfield», «А Tale of Two Cities». At the same time he was editing newspapers and magazines, giving readings from his books to huge crowds of people and writing constantly. It was the excitement of these readings and the strain of his continual work that brought about his sudden death in 1870. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

There is no other novelist in England who has such a hold on all classes of people. Charles Dickens’s books are read by all - by learned and simple, by rich and poor alike. The chief cause of his popularity is the great-heartedness of Dickens. He was one who loved his fellow-men. His kindly, humorous, understanding eye looked with tolerance on good and bad alike. His characters are more real to us than the characters of any other novelist, English or foreign.

Topical Vocabulary

- to be born
to get one’s education
получить образование
a well-educated woman
хорошо образованная женщина
to be heavily in debt
иметь крупный долг
to be taken to prison for debt
попасть в тюрьму за долги
to get a job at a blacking factory
получить работу на гуталиновой фабрике
- his fortunes took a turn for the better
судьба улыбнулась ему
to enter a lawyer’s office
поступить на работу в контору юриста
to learn shorthand
изучить стенографию
to be taken on the staff of a newspaper
быть взятым в штат газеты
to come into being
at one stride
the most popular living novelist
самый популярный писатель того времени
to pour out novel after novel
издавать роман за романом
to edit newspapers and magazines
издавать газеты и журналы
to give readings from his books to smb.
читать отрывки из своих книг кому-либо
the strain of continual work
напряжение постоянной работы
to bring about one’s sudden death
вызвать внезапную смерть
to be buried
быть похороненным
- such a hold on all classes of people
такое влияние на все слои населения
the chief cause of one’s popularity
главная причина чьей-либо популярности
доброта, великодушие
to look with tolerance on smb.
быть терпимым к кому-либо
a novelist

Answer the questions:

  1. What kind of family was Charles Dickens born in?
  2. What was his first job?
  3. How was he taken on the staff of a newspaper?
  4. How did he become the most popular novelist?
  5. What did he do after «Pickwick papers» were published?
  6. What part does Dickens play in English literature?

Translate into English:

  1. Чарльз Диккенс родился в 1812 году в семье клерка.
  2. У его отца был крупный долг; поскольку он не мог его выплатить, его в конце концов посадили в тюрьму.
  3. Вскоре судьба улыбнулась ему: он стал работать в конторе юриста.
  4. Сначала он иногда выполнял работу репортера для разных газет, затем его приняли в штат одной из газет.
  5. Когда вышел «Пиквикский клуб», Диккенс стал знаменитейшим писателем того времени.
  6. Диккенс постоянно работал: издавал газеты и журналы, читал отрывки из своих книг.
  7. Напряжение последних месяцев привело к внезапной смерти Диккенса.
  8. В Англии нет другого писателя, который оказывал бы такое влияние на все слои населения.
  9. Главная причина популярности Диккенса заключается в том, что он любит людей и с терпимостью относится как к хорошим, так и к плохим людям.