Charles Dickens photo, 1858Charles Dickens may have died in 1870, but legions of fans around the world will unite on Tuesday and beyond to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of this titan of English fiction.

Queen Elizabeth is throwing a star-studded party for him at Buckingham Palace and leading cultural figures will gather in an old orphanage to read from his works.

The personal story of the author who penned classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “A Tale of Two Cities” is thoroughly modern in its rags-to-riches flair.

J.K. Rowling mirrored his poverty-to-powerhouse rise in publishing. Like Rowling, the single mom whose Harry Potter book sales made her a billionaire, Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime.

Though born in 1812, Dickens remains popular today, having been responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic novels and characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley, Oliver Twist, The Artful Dodger, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Pip and David Copperfield.

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Visit to learn more about the British author and celebrations in 2012.

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