Charles Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. He was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth. and spent much of his childhood in poverty. Despite these difficult circumstances, he received a decent education and went on to become a successful journalist and writer.