Dickens may not have had an overarching vision of how to reform society

Dickens may not have had an overarching vision of how to reform society, but he was a philanthropist, spending more than a decade on a project to help destitute girls and young women in mid-19th Century London.
Supported by the banking heiress Angela Burdett Coutts, he established Urania Cottage – a safe house for young women in Shepherd’s Bush where they were taken from lives of prostitution and crime and trained for useful employment.
Dickens’s brother-in-law was one of the founders of the Health of Towns Association, and in his journalism Dickens argued passionately for the reform of housing and sanitation of the poor.
His own schooling was interrupted by his family’s financial plight, and he saw education as a vital ingredient in the fight against crime, vociferously supporting the Ragged Schools – charitable institutions set up to educate destitute children.