Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed unrivaled popularity and fame during his career, and he remains popular, being responsible for some of English literature's most iconic novels and characters. Many of his writings first appeared in magazines in serialized form, a popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who completed entire novels before serialisation, Dickens often created the episodes as they were being serialised. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next instalment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print. Dickens' work has been highly praised for its concern for social reform, realism, comedy, mastery of prose and unique personalities by writers such as Leo Tolstoy, George Gissing and G.K. Chesterton ; though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, have criticized it for sentimentality and implausibility.