Later, for two and a half years, Dickens attended school at Wellington House Academy, and then in 1827, at the age of fifteen, he began work as a clerk in a law office and taught himself shorthand so he could report court debates. At the same time, he was learning about life in London and frequently attended the theater, even taking acting lessons for a short time. Meanwhile, Dickens had fallen in love with Maria Beadnell, a frivolous young girl whose father objected to his daughter's being courted by a young reporter from a lower middle-class background. Nothing came of this relationship, but it probably intensified Dickens' efforts to make something of himself. In 1832, he began working as a parliamentary reporter for two London newspapers, and two years later, he joined a new paper, the Morning Chronicle , where he was asked to write a series of
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