My history hero: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Chosen by Sue Townsend, bestselling author
Charles Dickens is widely considered to be the greatest novelist in the English language. Born in Portsmouth in 1812, he made his literary mark in 1836 with The Pickwick Papers, before going on to win worldwide fame with novels and stories such as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol. A keen social reformer, he was engaged in numerous good causes, while his public readings were hugely popular. He was married with ten children.