Hard Times

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Orient Blackswan, 1983 - 107 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

SOWING
1
A Loophole
3
Mr Bounderby
6
The Keynote
9
Mrs Slearys Horsemanship
11
Mrs Sparsit
16
Never Wonder
19
Sissys Progress
22
Men and Brothers Men and Masters
52
Fading Away
55
Gunpowder
60
Explosion
63
Hearing the Last of it
66
Mrs Sparsits Staircase Lower and Lower
68
Down
71
GARNERING
73

Stephen Blackpool
24
No Way Out
27
The Old Woman
31
Rachael
33
The Great Manufacturer
38
Father and Daughter
40
Husband and Wife
44
REAPING
46
Mr James Harthouse
48
The Whelp
50
Very Ridiculous
75
Very Decided
78
Lost
80
Found
83
The Starlight
85
WhelpHunting
87
Philosophical
89
Final
91
Notes Questions and Language Exercises
93
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About the author (1983)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

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