Hard Times

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1995 - Fiction - 229 pages
2 Reviews

Introduction and Notes by Dinny Thorold, University of Westminster.

Illustrated by F. Walker and Maurice Greiffenhagen.

Unusually for Dickens, Hard Times is set, not in London, but in the imaginary mid-Victorian Northern industrial town of Coketown with its blackened factories, downtrodden workers and polluted environment. This is the soulless domain of the strict utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind and the heartless factory owner Josiah Bounderby.

However human joy is not excluded thanks to 'Mr Sleary's Horse-Riding' circus, a gin-soaked and hilarious troupe of open-hearted and affectionate people who act as an antidote to all the drudgery and misery endured by the ordinary citizens of Coketown.

Macaulay attacked Hard Times for its ‘sullen socialism’, but 20th-century critics such as George Bernard Shaw and F.R. Leavis have praised this book in the highest terms, while readers the world over have found inspiration and enjoyment from what is both Dickens’ shortest completed novel and also one of his important statements on Victorian society.

 

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it was written wonderfully but it was kinda depressing (hints the name :))

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one of the best novels that i have read in my life . specially i like the character of "Stephen Blackpool" when he said "it's as i once said before , everywhere there are misunderstanding in this life"

Contents

II
3
III
4
IV
8
V
18
VI
23
VII
33
VIII
38
IX
43
XXI
115
XXII
120
XXIII
130
XXIV
141
XXV
151
XXVI
157
XXVII
161
XXVIII
168

X
49
XI
54
XII
60
XIII
64
XIV
71
XV
75
XVI
81
XVII
87
XVIII
97
XIX
105
XX
109
XXIX
173
XXX
178
XXXI
185
XXXII
192
XXXIII
200
XXXIV
207
XXXV
216
XXXVI
225
XXXVII
230
XXXVIII
235
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About the author (1995)

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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