Great Britain is known by the outstanding people. To them concern William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte etc.
William Shakespeare was one of the greatest and famous writers. He was born in 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon. It was a small English town. His father wanted his son to be an educated person and William was sent to the local grammar school. When the boy studied at school, he had no free time. When he had a rest, William liked to go to the forest and to river Avon.
At that time actors and actresses visited Stratford-on-Avon. William liked to watch them. He was fond of their profession and he decided to become an actor.
Then he moved to London. There he became an actor. He began to write plays and play supporting roles. Shakespeare was both an actor and a playwright. In his works he described important and dramatic events of life. His plays were staged in many theatres, translated into many languages and they made Shakespeare a very popular person.
The most famous plays of the writer are "Othello", "King Lear", "Hamlet", "Romeo and Juliet". Shakespeare would be well known for his poetry alone. His sonnets, full of music and harmony, praise love, friendship and beauty. His poetry is at the summit of human achievement.
William Shakespeare died in 1616. But his plays are popular now and millions of people admire them.
One of the greatest writers of this school of novelists was Charles Dickens. He was born in 1812 in the family of a small government official in the city of Portsmouth. There Charles first went to school. Never a strong child, he could not join his friends in games or any sports. He spent most of his free time reading various books.
In 1821 the family moved to London where his father was soon ruined. His father was thrown into a debtor's prison called Marshalsea and the whole family went to live there. For many years the dark buildings of the Marshalsea prison were the family's home. Charles though only ten years of age had to leave school and begin a long and hard struggle with poverty. In order to help the family in some way he went to work at a blacking factory. He worked from early morning till late at night. He suffered there so much that years later when he was at the height of his fame he never spoke of the time spent at the factory without pain.
Many years passed before Charles returned to school. When he graduated from school he became reporter on one of London's newspapers. He did his work so well that he was considered the best parliamentary reporter in London. The work of a reporter led him to journalism, and journalism led to novel-writing. In 1836 when only twenty-four years of age, Charles Dickens wrote his first book "Sketches by Boz". This book was followed by "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club" and in two years by "Oliver Twist". These novels brought him fame both in England and in other countries. From that time on Charles Dickens devoted himself to literature. His most famous novels are "Hard Times", "David Copperfield", "Domby and Son" and others. Charles Dickens died in 1870, at the age of fifty-eight.
In his books he protested against social injustice in bourgeois society, the work-houses, the debtor's prisons and the ruthless exploitation of children. It is this exposure of social injustice in bourgeois society that makes his books so important though he did not call for active struggle against the exploiting classes.
William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, as the only son of Richmond Thackeray, a Collector in the East Indian Company's service. After his father died he was sent to home to England. He was educated at Charterhouse and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Thackeray abandoned his studies without taking a degree, having lost some of his inheritance of twenty thousand pounds through gambling. In the beginning of the 1830s he visited Germany, where he met Goethe.
During 1831-33 Thackeray studied law at the Middle Temple, London, but had little enthusiasm to continued his studies. In 1833 he brought with a large heritage the National Standard, but lost his fortune a year later in the Indian bank failures and other bad investments.
"Suppose in a game of life - and it is but a twopenny game after all - you are equally eager of winning. Shall you be ashamed of your ambition, or glory in it?" (from 'Autour de mon Chapeau', 1863)