Our Mutual Friend, Volume 1

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Cosimo, Inc., Jan 1, 2009 - Reference - 458 pages
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It is impossible to overstate the importance of British novelist CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) not only to literature in the English language, but to Western civilization on the whole. He is arguably the first fiction writer to have become an international celebrity. He popularized episodic fiction and the cliffhanger, which had a profound influence on the development of film and television. He is entirely responsible for the popular image of Victorian London that still lingers today, and his characters-from Oliver Twist to Ebenezer Scrooge, from Miss Havisham to Uriah Heep-have become not merely iconic, but mythic. But it was his stirring portraits of ordinary people-not the upper classes or the aristocracy-and his fervent cries for social, moral, and legal justice for the working poor, and in particular for poor children, in the grim early decades of the Industrial Revolution that powerfully impacted social concerns well into the 20th century. Without Charles Dickens, we may never have seen the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Upton Sinclair, or even Bob Dylan. Here, in 30 beautiful volumes-complete with all the original illustrations-is every published word written by one of the most important writers ever. The essential collector's set will delight anyone who cherishes English literature...and who takes pleasure in constantly rediscovering its joys. This volume contains Part I of Our Mutual Friend, Dickens's final novel, which was originally serialized in standalone installments in 1864-65. A satire on avarice and the power of money to influence human behavior, it is Dickens's most sophisticated work, and the fullest expression of the writer's authority and persuasiveness.
 

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Contents

I
1
II
6
III
18
IV
33
V
45
VI
62
VII
79
VIII
88
XVIII
221
XIX
241
XX
253
XXI
264
XXII
277
XXIII
293
XXIV
307
XXV
319

IX
102
X
117
XI
132
XII
148
XIII
165
XIV
175
XV
184
XVI
199
XVII
215
XXVI
335
XXVII
344
XXVIII
351
XXIX
364
XXX
379
XXXI
394
XXXII
407
XXXIII
424
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About the author (2009)

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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