Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. The magical opening scenes of Great Expectations draws heavily on his own love of north Kent which he had known as a boy and in which he lived as an adult. The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood are also published in the Penguin English Library.