Portrait of Charles Dickensís father John Dickens, after a painting by John W. Gilbert and owned by Henry Fielding Dickens.  Charles Dickens is said to have dictated most of the changes and modifications to Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi to his father.  John Dickens was convivial and unselfish; but also improvident and a spendthrift.  These traits of character are also those of Mr. Micawber in Dickensís autobiographical novel, David Copperfield.  John Dickensís tendency to live beyond his income brought him and his growing family into poorer and poorer circumstances; removal to successively poorer lodgings, and to John Dickensís eventual imprisonment in the Marshalsea.  Charles Dickens was only twelve when his father withdrew him from school and sent him to work in a blacking warehouse.  There, for a few shillings a day Charles filled bottles with blacking used to polish boots and shoes.  Then, John Dickensís mother died leaving him a legacy of 450 pounds, which was more than enough to pay his debts and gain his release.  Charles quit the blacking warehouse and went back to school.  But this was not the end of John Dickensís troubles.  He could not hold a job, and he was threatened again and again with imprisonment for his debts (and actually jailed once before Charles could pay for his release).  Charles Dickens, having become famous, aided his father financially until the latterís death.  In 1834 Dickens wrote to his friend Kolle that John Dickensís troubles were the ďdamnable shadow cast over my life.Ē  However, upon his fatherís death many years later, Charles remembered his fatherís convivial spirits, kindness, and unselfishness.  Indeed, John Dickens was Mr. Micawber.