Charles Dickens toby jug modeled by Andy Moss and produced by Peggy Davies Ceramics for Kevin Francis Ceramics of Stoke-on-Trent, England, as the Guild Toby Jug in 2000. Charles Huffham Dickens (1812-1870) is commonly regarded as England's greatest popular novelist of the 19th century. He was the son of a pay clerk for the Royal navy and had little formal education. When his father was imprisoned for debt in 1824, the young Dickens spent five months in a blacking factory sticking labels on early Doulton and Watts' pots, a real life experience that manifested itself through the hero of his 1850 autobiographical novel, "David Copperfield". Later, while employed as a junior law clerk he learned shorthand and then worked as a reporter of debates in the House of Commons. His career in writing began in 1836 with the creation of the immensely popular Mr. Pickwick. Dickens' characters were diverse and colorful, his works filled with spirited humor and satirical wit, carrying themes reflecting his own experiences and hardships. Among his more famous works are "The Pickwick Papers", "Oliver Twist", "The Old Curiosity Shop", "David Copperfield", "Bleak House", "A Tale of Two Cities", "Great Expectations", and "A Christmas Carol". A quill and inkpot atop a stack of books forms the handle of this jug.