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Charles Dickens commemorated on a coin

The £2 coin marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens boasts a remarkable and inventive reverse by Matthew Dent. A profile outline, immediately recognisable as Dickens, has been painstakingly created from the titles of Dickens’ famous works, from his early writings, Sketches by Boz, to his final and unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Taken from Dickens’ own favourite story, David Copperfield, the words chosen for the edge inscription are those of the lovable and always optimistic Mr Micawber: SOMETHING WILL TURN UP.

Dickens’ ability to inspire, move and influence his readers was admired by millions of devotees and by audiences around the world; his nineteenth-century readers including Queen Victoria, Vincent van Gogh and Karl Marx.

Dickens first shot to fame in 1836 with the serial publication of The Pickwick Papers, quickly succeeded by Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. By the age of 25 he was the leading international star on the literary scene, famous for his sharp satire, rich humour and peerless observation of the world. Known to his contemporaries as ‘The Inimitable’, his work as a philanthropist, social campaigner and journalist established his central role in Victorian society. Having authored 15 novels as well as hundreds of pieces of short fiction and non-fiction, Dickens built a strong and powerful connection with his reading public - one that continues to this day.

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