In 1822, John Dickens was transferred to London, but debts continued to pile up, and the family was forced to sell household items in order to pay some of the creditors. Young Charles made frequent trips to the pawnshop, but eventually his father was arrested and sent to debtors' prison, and at the age of twelve, he was sent to work in a blacking warehouse, where he pasted labels on bottles for six shillings a week. This experience was degrading for the young boy, and Dickens later wrote: "No words can express the secret agony of my soul. I felt my early hopes of growing up to be a learned and distinguished man, crushed in my breast." The situation is an exact parallel to David Copperfield's plight at the wine warehouse. Even after his father was released from prison and the family inherited some money, his mother wanted him to continue with his job. Later, for two and a half years, Dickens attended school at Wellington House Academy, and then in
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