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Charles Whitehead (1804 – 5 July 1862) was an English poet, novelist, and dramatist.Whitehead was born in London, the eldest son of a wine merchant. His most memorable works, which met with popular favour were: The Solitary (1831), a poem, The Autobiography of Jack Ketch (1834), a novel, The Cavalier (1836), a play in blank verse, Richard Savage (1842), perhaps his finest novel; and The Earl of Essex, an historical romance (1843).Whitehead recommended Charles Dickens for the writing of the letterpress for Robert Seymour's drawings, which ultimately developed into The Pickwick Papers.Whitehead had problems with alcohol and decided to travel to Melbourne, Australia, hoping for fresh start, arriving in 1857. He already was acquainted with Richard Henry Horne, he befriended James Smith and James Neild and wrote a little for the local press. He applied for admission to the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum in February 1862 in vain, a few months later he was picked up exhausted in a street and taken to the Melbourne hospital, where he died on 5 July 1862 of hepatitis and bronchitis and was buried in a pauper's grave.

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