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Famous Family History Charles Dickens Children

About the family of famous author Charles Dickens, history of his sons and daughters.

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870), English author

His Fruits: Dickens's descendants have tended toward literary and military careers. Charles fathered seven sons and three daughters before his 1858 separation from wife Catherine Hogarth. A conscientious father and provider, he started his children off well, but most of his sons were indecisive in establishing their own careers. Dickens was constantly bailing his children-and his parents-out of debt.

Dickens named all of his sons, except the first, after great English writers. After he died, two sons had lucrative part-time careers lecturing about their father and reading his works; two spent most of their lives in Australia; one joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; one died in India; and one perished at sea. The sixth and most successful son, Sir Henry Fielding Dickens (1849-1933), became an English jurist and published a memoir of his family. Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (1837-1896), the eldest son, failed in business before finding his niche as a compiler, editor, and commanding stage presence. Mary "Mamie" Dickens (1838-1896), the eldest child, also wrote a memoir of her father.

More recent family notables have included novelist Mary Angela Dickens (1863-1948), daughter of Charles C. Dickens; and Adm. Sir Gerald Charles Dickens (1879-1962), naval intelligence officer and son of Sir Henry. Capt. Peter Dickens, a great-grandson, participated in the Dunkerque evacuation and wrote Night Action, based on his W. W. II experience.

The best-known living descendant is author Monica Enid Dickens (1915- ), granddaughter of Sir Henry. "I was not especially drawn to writing," she has stated, "perhaps because family pride in our ancestor was so stultifyingly strong that there was an unstated feeling that Charles Dickens had done it for all time, and no one else should have the nerve to try." She has, however, produced almost a score of novels, autobiographical works, and children's books. Married to an American, Commander Roy O. Stratton, she lives and writes in North Falmouth, Mass.

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