Hard Times

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Nov 23, 2004 - Fiction - 320 pages
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“Facts alone are wanted in life.” The children at Mr. Gradgrind’s school are sternly ordered to stifle their imaginations and pay attention only to cold, hard reality. The effects of Gradgrind’s teaching on his own children, Tom and Louisa, are particularly profound and leave them ill-equipped to deal with the unpredictable desires of the human heart. Luckily for them, they have a friend in Sissy Jupe, the child of a circus clown, who retains her warm-hearted, compassionate nature despite the pressures around her.

By 1854, when Hard Times was published, Charles Dickens' magisterial progress as a writer had come to incorporate a many-sided, coherent vision of English society, both as it was and as he wished it to be. Hard Times, a classic Dickensian story of redemption set in a North of England town beset by industrialism, everywhere benefits from this vision - in the trenchancy of its satire, in its sweeping indignation at social injustice, and in the persistent humanity with which its author enlivens his largest and smallest incidents.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

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List of Characters
A Loophole
Slearys Horsemanship
Mrs Sparsit
Sissys Progress
Stephen Blackpool
No Way
Hearing the Last of
Mrs Sparsits Staircase
Lower and Lower
Book the Third Garnering Chapter I Another Thing Needful
Very Ridiculous

The Old Woman
The Great Manufacturer
Father and Daughter
Husband and Wife
Book the Second Reaping Chapter I Effects in the Bank
Mr James Harthouse
The Whelp
Men and Brothers
Men and Masters
Fading Away
Very Decided
The Starlight
Final Footnotes
About the Author Bantam Classics Copyright Page

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About the author (2004)

Philip Collins is the author of Dickens aria Crime and Dickens and Education, and the editor of volumes of interviews with Dickens and Thackeray. He was formerly Emeritus Professor of English at Leicester University.

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