Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is often considered the finest English novelist of the 19th century. His enduring comic characters are part of the culture. He is known as well for exposing the wretchedness of the downtrodden, for his anger at their heartless oppression and for his contribution to the celebration of Christmas. An enormously successful author and performer of his own work, he was the conscience of Victorian England.
Although Dickens was baptized and reared in the Church of England and was a nominal Anglican for most of his life, he turned to Unitarianism in the 1840s as a Broad Church alternative. He associated with Unitarians until the end of his life.