Childhood

Charles Dickens quotations on the theme of Childhood.

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) was one of the foremost writers from the Victorian era and remains a popular widely-read author today. During his lifetime he produced 15 novels, five novellas, and a large number of shorter stories and essays. He wrote from personal experiences and concerned himself with a number of contemporary social issues whilst supporting numerous charitable causes, giving assistance in time, money or personal effort. Our archive of over 400 Charles Dickens quotations are organised by both source material, i.e. the work or speech in which it originally appeared, and also grouped thematically. In this archive, we have collected quotations from Charles Dickens works on the theme of Childhood.


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A great many very young girls grown into bold women before they had well ceased to be children.

Background. "A great many very young girls grown into bold women before they had well ceased to be children." is a quotation from The Amusements of the People (Part 2).  The Amusements of the People was an article, written by Charles Dickens, exploring popular theatre. It was first published in Dickens own weekly magazine Household Words on 30 March, 1850. This was followed up with a second article two weeks later, also called The Amusements of the People, about The Eagle [...]

It is a pleasant thing to see that the sun has been there; to know that the air and light are on them every day; to feel that they are children, and lead children’s lives; that if their pillows be damp, it is with the dews of Heaven, and not with tears; that the limbs of their girls are free, and that they are not crippled by distortions, imposing an unnatural and horrible penance upon their sex; that their lives are spent, from day to day, at least among the waving trees, and not in the midst of dreadful engines which make young children old before they know what childhood is, and give them the exhaustion and infirmity of age, without, like age, the privilege to die.

Background. "It is a pleasant thing to see that the sun has been there; to know that the air and light are on them every day; to feel that they are children, and lead children's lives; that if their pillows be damp, it is with the dews of Heaven, and not with tears; that the limbs of their girls are free, and that they are not crippled by distortions, imposing an unnatural and horrible penance upon their sex; that their [...]

2018-02-23T19:49:06+00:00 Categories: Nicholas Nickleby|Tags: , |

My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless, and abandoned, as such, altogether.

Background. "My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless, and abandoned, as such, altogether." is a quotation from David Copperfield (Chapter 11). David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens, first published between 1849 and 1850.   Context. This quotation is taken from the following passage in Chapter 11 of David Copperfield: My rescue from this kind of existence I considered quite hopeless, and abandoned, as such, altogether. I am solemnly convinced that I never for [...]

2018-02-21T20:30:36+00:00 Categories: David Copperfield|Tags: , |

Although Oliver had been brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is the first law of nature.

  Background. "Although Oliver had been brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is the first law of nature" is a quotation from Oliver Twist (Chapter 10). Oliver Twist, subtitled The Parish Boy’s Progress, is the second novel by Charles Dickens, published in 1837.   Have Your Say. Give your view on "Although Oliver had been brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is [...]

2018-06-12T11:10:30+00:00 Categories: Oliver Twist|Tags: |

I am the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence.

Background. "I am the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence." is a quotation from Little Dorrit. Book 1, Chapter 2. Little Dorrit was the eleventh novel from Charles Dickens, serialised between 1855 and 1857. A rags to riches story set in the 1820’s, Little Dorrit centres around the changing fortunes of the Dorrit family.   Context. Quotation from the character Arthur Clennam, who [...]

2018-02-23T19:44:16+00:00 Categories: Little Dorrit|Tags: , |

That slow agony of my youth.

Background. "That slow agony of my youth." is a quotation from David Copperfield (Chapter 11). David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens, first published between 1849 and 1850.   Context. This quotation is taken from the final passage in Chapter 11 of David Copperfield: As I walked to and fro daily between Southwark and Blackfriars, and lounged about at meal-times in obscure streets, the stones of which may, for anything I know, be worn at this moment by [...]

2018-02-21T20:30:34+00:00 Categories: David Copperfield|Tags: , |