Hard times: an authoritative text, backgrounds, sources, and contemporary reactions, criticism

Front Cover
W.W. Norton, 1966 - Fiction - 378 pages
42 Reviews
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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User Review  - wagner.sarah35 - LibraryThing

I read this novel with the same determination a child feels when eating cold vegetables before being allowed to enjoy desert. My least favorite of the Charles Dickens novels I've read, Hard Times made ... Read full review

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User Review  - joeydag - LibraryThing

We read an excerpt from this novel in a children's lit class as there is a scene from an extreme sort of facts only, pragmatist education. I wanted to see where the novel went from there. I was ... Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 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, 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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