My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infanttongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I calledmyself Pip, and came to be called Pip.I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on the authority of his tombstone and mysister, -Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or mymother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before thedays of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonablyderived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd ideathat he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn ofthe inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above," I drew a childish conclusion that mymother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a halflong, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to thememory of five little brothers of mine, -who gave up trying to get a living, exceedinglyearly in that universal struggle, -I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained thatthey had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and hadnever taken them out in this state of existence.Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty milesof the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things seems to me tohave been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I foundout for certain that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and thatPhilip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead andburied; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children ofthe aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond thechurchyard, intersected with dikes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding onit, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distantsavage lair from which the wind was rushing was the sea; and that the small bundle ofshivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.
Charles John Huffam 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 as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity. Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction.