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Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Hampshire, during the new industrial age, which gave birth to theories of Karl Marx. Dickens's father was a clerk in the navy pay office. He was well paid but often ended in financial troubles. In 1814 Dickens moved to London, and then to Chatham, where he received some education. The schoolmaster William Giles gave special attention to Dickens, who made rapid progress. In 1824, at the age of 12, Dickens was sent to work for some months at a blacking factory, Hungerford Market, London, while his father John was in Marshalea debtor's prison. "My father and mother were quite satisfied," Dickens later recalled bitterly. "They could hardly have been more so, if I had been twenty years of age, distinguished at a grammar-school, and going to Cambridge." Later this period found its way to the novel LITTLE DORRITT (1855-57). John Dickens paid his £40 debt with the money he inherited from his mother; she died at the age of seventy-nine when he was still in prison.
Following the phenomenal popularity of Sketches by Boz and The Pickwick Papers, Dickens produced two short volumes of Sketches of Young Gentlemen and Young Couples, in response to the appearance of Sketches of Young Ladies by 'Quiz'. Each volume purports to dissect the characteristics of familiar types such as 'The Bashful Young Gentleman', 'The Literary Young Lady', and 'The Couple who Coddle themselves'. Whimsical, satirical, witty and exuberant, the sketches ridicule the behaviour of their subjects with perfect comic effect, rendering Mr Whiffler, Mrs Chopper and their companions instantly recognizable. They offer intriguing glimpses of courtship rituals and relations between the sexes at the outset of the Victorian era, and fascinating evidence of a writer learning his craft and refining his style. This edition includes the original illustrations by Phiz, and an introduction that examines the appeal of the sketch, a literary genre in which Dickens excelled throughout his career.
This edition of The Christmas Carol is one of a range of marvellous comic books created in the '50s and '60s now with artwork re-coloured and covers digitally enhanced for a new generation. Perfect bound at a terrifically good value price. A message from the publisher: We're delighted to re-introduce these marvellous comic books to new generations of readers who will surely enjoy them as fantastic tales of adventure and excitement but will also improve their reading skills as a result and be inspired to read the complete versions of many of these fine works. I sincerely hope that you enjoy these superb adaptations and are similarly inspired as I was, nearly 50 years ago - Jeff Brooks, CEO, Classic Comic Store Ltd
The twists (excuse the pun) and turns of Oliver's life make this a totally engrossing read. The book includes some of the most memorable characters from literature, grotesque and fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. January 2010 Guest Editor Diana Gabaldon on CHARLES DICKENS Nobody does characters like Dickens did, and that's why his books endure. He told excellent stories and painted a vivid portrait of Victorian society, but that society consists of people who live, breathe, and speak on the page. I learned from him the art of evoking a character: naming and describing people in such vivid detail as to make them live.
History is boring? Well think again. This piece of history and literature by Charles Dickens provides a fast-paced, relevant, exciting history with witty observations and compelling narrative, which will capture a child’s (and parents) imagination. It’s an absolutely fascinating treasure trove to delve in to. This spectacular new edition has been carefully edited and lightly abridged to ensure that children in the 21st century will gain as much and more from it than those who read it 150 years before.
David Copperfield runs away from home to stay with his Aunt Betsey and turn his life around, which he does, while facing many challenges along the way. In this Compact Edition cuts have been made to overlong passages of description and dialogue and some scenes or incidents with minor characters have been reduced but all the memorable eccentrics have been kept.
August 2014 Guest Editor Gerald Seymour on A Tale of Two Cities... The most important book to me, the greatest influence on my own writing, has to be ‘Tale of Two Cities’. It is a classic novel and also a superb thriller, and it produces the most compelling hero of British literature, Sidney Carton. I am a huge fan of the atmospheric writing that describes the hard, mean streets of Paris at the time of the Revolution, the power and brutality of the mob when passions are let loose, but above all is the Carton character: he is the failed, booze ridden advocate who can dominate a massive court room scene when a life is on the line, win when it matters. The lines at the end of the story as he gives his own life to protect the husband of the woman he has put on a personal pedestal are incredibly moving, and his gentleness with the young girl who will go before him up the steps to the guillotine. Wonderful, and an inspiration. September 2013 Guest Editor Daisy Waugh on A Tale of Two Cities... A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – is the Emperor of historical fiction, after all. I remember weeping like a baby at the end of it… And boring everyone silly (as if I were making a new discovery) about what an earth shatteringly brilliant novel it was... A 2012 World Book Night selection. This text is a revised edition of Dickens' classic tale.
One of Sir Trevor McDonald's favourite books. This definitive edition uses the text from the first published edition of 1861. It includes a map of Kent in the early nineteenth century, and appendices on Dickens’s original ending and his working notes, giving readers an illuminating glimpse into the mind of a great novelist at work.
'His characters are marvellous, his insights wonderful ... You don't expect reality but you get something bigger and better' Ruth Rendell The Old Curiosity Shop was an instant bestseller that, even while it was criticized for its sentimentality, captured the hearts of the nation with its portrayal of little Nell Trent, who is thrown into a terrifying world when her beloved grandfather is unable to pay his debts to the loathsome Quilp. Alongside the pathos of the innocent, tragic Nell are some of Dickens's greatest characters: the ne'er-do'well Dick Swiveller, the mannish lawyer Sally Brass, the half-starved 'Marchioness' and the lustful Quilp himself, a creation of demonic power and cruelty. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Norman Page
Remarkable, sumptuous artwork by top children's illustrator Christian Birmingham enhances this faithful abridgement of the Dickens classic.
This eleventh volume presents 1158 letters, many previously unpublished or published only in part, for the years 1865 to 1867. Dickens's main work in the period is the completion of the monthly parts of Our Mutual Friend (final part 31 October 1865, for November); unusually, it comes out in two volumes (January and November 1865) during the period of its run. The three All the Year Round Christmas numbers, `Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions', `Mugby Junction', and `No Thoroughfare' (written jointly with Wilkie Collins) are again highly successful. He remains in high demand as chairman of a varied collection of public charitable dinners: they include charities to which he was constantly faithful, such as the Newsvendors' Benevolent Institution and the Royal General Theatrical Fund; but he also presides, for the only time, at the Annual Dinner of the Dramatic, Equestrian, and Musical Sick Fund Association (14 February 1866) and - at the instigation of Charley Dickens, a keen oarsman and Committee member - at the Dinner of the Metropolitan Rowing Club (7 May 1866), making a particularly brilliant speech. The first reference to his swollen left foot, attributed by him to frost-bite, comes in February 1865; but the most dramatic event in this volume is the railway accident at Staplehurst, Kent, on 9 June 1865, in which he is involved on returning from a short visit to France, accompanied by Ellen Ternan and her mother. The frontispiece shows him helping the injured and dying. He gives two provincial reading tours managed by George Dolby of Chappell & Co., in 1866 and 1867, besides frequent readings in London. After a Farewell Dinner to him in London, with Lord Lytton in the Chair, he sails on 9 November 1867 from Liverpool to Boston, to begin his American tour of 75 readings.
'One of my life's greatest tragedies is to have already read Pickwick Papers - I can't go back and read it for the first time' Fernando Pessoa Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers - a comic masterpiece that catapulted its twenty-four-year-old author to immediate fame. Readers were captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the sportsman Winkle and, above all, by that quintessentially English Quixote, Mr Pickwick, and his cockney Sancho Panza, Sam Weller. From the hallowed turf of Dingley Dell Cricket Club to the unholy fracas of the Eatanswill election, characters and incidents sprang to life from Dickens's pen, to form an enduringly popular work of ebullient humour and literary invention. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Mark Wormald
'Among the most powerful things Dickens ever did in fiction' Guardian Greed has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and name-sake to make his own way in the world. And so young Martin sets out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America. In depicting Martin's journey Dickens created many vividly realized figures, from Martin's optimistic manservant Mark Tapley to the drunken and corrupt private nurse Mrs Gamp. With its portrayal of greed, blackmail and murder, and its searing satire on America, Dickens's novel is a powerful and blackly comic story of hypocrisy and redemption. Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Patricia Ingham
Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman, learns the true meaning of Christmas after he is visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future.
'A revelation ... as well as being sympathetic to the plight of children, it is hilarious' A. N. Wilson The hero of Dickens's flamboyantly exuberant novel, Nicholas Nickleby, is left penniless after his father's death and forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures give Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall; the tragic orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas; and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummle and their daughter, the 'infant phenomenon'. Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by Dickens's outrage at social injustice, but it also reveals his comic genius at its most unerring. Edited with an Introduction by Mark Ford
The newly established text is based on all extant materials and is accompanied by several textual essays. Backgrounds provides readers with an understanding of Great Expectations's inception and internal chronology. A discussion of the public-reading version of the novel is also included. A wonderfully rich Contexts section collects thirteen pieces, centering on the novel's major themes: the link between author and hero and, relatedly, Victorian notions of gentility, snobbishness, and social mobility; the often brutal training, at home and at school, of children born around 1800; and the central issues of crime and punishment. Criticism gathers twenty-two assessments of Great Expectations, both contemporary and modern, which offer a range of perspectives on Dickens and his novel.
When young Charles Dickens was commissioned to write the text for a series of sporting illustrations in 1836, no one could have suspected that this journeyman task was to turn in to one of the great comic novels in English literature. After the premature death of the original illustrator, Dickens took charge of the project, which was published in monthly parts. The result is a brilliant panorama of English life in the 1830s, a cornucopia of stories and vignettes featuring dozens of vividly drawn characters. Chief among them are Mr Pickwick himself, a later day Don Quixote travelling about the country righting wrongs; and his Sancho Panza, Sam Weller, whose pithy sayings and bizarre anecdotes immediately became and remained part of national mythology. With The Pickwick Papers Dickens established himself at a single stroke as a major creative artist, revealing the depth of his human sympathies, the breadth of his interests and his extraordinary linguistic virtuosity. His first novel, published when he was 25, is his first masterpiece. The Everyman edition includes 43 illustrations by Seymour and 'Phiz' which accompanied the original edition and also reprints the 1907 preface by G. K. Chesterton.
Originally published in serial form from December 1860 to August 1861, Great Expectations is the `autobiography' of Pip, as he transformed from apprentice village blacksmith to a London gentleman. Unlike many of Dickens's earlier works, the novel is not so much a protest against social evils as a sustained meditation upon the process of social reform in Victorian England. It is this which gives such importance to the book's handling of the theme of the gentleman, a theme central both to Dickens's society and to his own life story.
This volume presents 918 letters, 435 previously unpublished, for the years 1862 to 1864. Our Mutual Friend, Dickens's main work in the period, comes out monthly from 30 April 1864 to 31 October 1865, illustrated by Marcus Stone, son of Dickens's old friend, the painter Frank Stone; a series of new letters to him shows the immense care Dickens took over his illustrations. The three All the Year Round Christmas numbers, Somebody's Luggage , Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings and Mrs. irriper's Legacy , take up much of his energies and are highly successful. Public readings do not occupy so much of his time as in the last volume; but he completes his second provincial tour in January 1862; gives two series weekly in London; and reads for charity in both Rochester and Paris. He declines an offer of GBP10,000 for an eight months' reading tour in Australia. Gad's Hill plays an increasingly major part in his life: he entertains many of his friends there and makes constant improvements to it. But there is no other period in which he pays so many visits to France, generally alone. The deliberately mystifying language he uses about these visits suggests he was seeing Ellen Ternan either in Paris or Boulogne or both, but there is no evidence to prove it. Long letters to his Swiss friend, W. W. F. de Cerjat, testify to his concern with public issues; several show how much he hated the American Civil War.
Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz) and George Cattermole, with a new Introduction by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex. This vivid historical and political novel by Dickens is centred on the infamous 'No Popery' riots, instigated by Lord George Gordon, which terrorised London in 1780. Dickens' targets are prejudice, intolerance, religious bigotry and nationalistic fervour, together with the villains who exploit these for selfish ends. His intense account of the riots is interwoven with the mysterious tale of a long-unsolved murder and with a romance involving forbidden love, treachery and heroism. Barnaby Rudge abounds in memorably strange, comic and grotesque characters. Furthermore, recent historical events have renewed its political topicality.
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