Before Charles Dickens wrote the novels he his most noted for, he was a journalist, reporting speeches in the House of Commons from 1832 to 1834.
In 1846 he became editor of the Daily News.
Dickens sought through his books and writings to improve conditions of the poorer classes.
Tooting Baby-Farm Scandal.
In the beginning of 1849 there was an outbreak of cholera at a baby-farm in Tooting run by Peter Drouet, which killed up to 200 children. Amid a growing national public outrage about the scandal Dickens wrote four articles for the The Examiner, even whilst Drouet was on trial.
The four articles Charles Dickens wrote for The Examiner newspaper in 1849, about Drouet’s pauper farm at Tooting were:
- The Paradise at Tooting (20 January).
- The Tooting Farm (27 January).
- A Recorder’s Charge (3 March).
- The Verdict for Drouet (21 April).
- The Amusements of the People (Pt. 1) (March, 1850). Explored popular theatre, with a visit to the Royal Victoria.
- The Begging-Letter Writer (March, 1850). Article about being plagued by begging-letters (as Dickens had been since achieving national fame).
- The Amusements of the People (Pt. 2) (April, 1850). Another article of the same name exploring popular theatre, this time with a visit to The Britannia, a popular saloon theatre in London’s east-end.
- A Child’s Dream of a Star (April, 1850). A tale of a star-gazing brother and sister.
- Pet Prisoners (April, 1850).
- The Heart of Mid-London (May, 1850). An attack on the Smithfield live meat market. Co-authored piece.
- A Walk in a Workhouse (25 May 1850). Describes a visit to a workhouse.
- The Sunday Screw (22 June 1850). An attack on Sabbatarianism following the cessation of Sunday postal services throughout the U.K. by the Post Office.
- A December Vision (December, 1850). An article criticising Victorian institutions for their inability to solve social issues of poverty and disease.
- Red Tape (15 February, 1851). An article criticising bureaucracy.
- A Monument of French Folly (March, 1851). Another attack on the Smithfield live meat market with comparisons to Paris.
- The Guild of Literature and Art (10 May, 1851). Promoting a philanthropic institution of that name that Dickens heavily involved himself with.
- On Duty with Inspector Field (14 June, 1851). Looked at the work of Inspector Charles Frederick Field of Scotland Yard.
- What Christmas is, as we Grow Older (25 December, 1851). Article about Christmas written for the 1851 Christmas special edition.
- Drooping Buds (April, 1852). Describes a visit to the newly founded Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street. Co-authored piece.
- A Sleep to Startle Us (13 March, 1852). Exploring ragged (poor) schooling.
- Drooping Buds (3 April 1852). Describing a visit to the then newly founded Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street. Co-written with Henry Morley.
- Down with the Tide (February, 1853).
- Received a Blank Child (March 13, 1853). A look at the Foundling Hospital. Co-authored piece.
- Home for Homeless Women (April, 1853). A look at Urania Cottage, the home for fallen women set-up by Dickens and Angela Burdett-Coutts.
- In and Out of Jail (14 May, 1853). A review of the book Crime: Its Amount, Causes, and Remedies by Frederic Hill. Co-written by Charles Dickens, Henry Morley and William Henry Wills.
- On Strike (11 February, 1854). An account of the Lancashire mill strikes following Dickens visit to Preston two weeks earlier.
- A Nightly Scene in London (January, 1856).