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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.
This fiercely comic tale stands in marked contrast to its genial predecessor, The Pickwick Papers. Set against London's seedy back street slums, Oliver Twist is the saga of a workhouse orphan captured and thrust into a thieves' den, where some of Dickens's most depraved villains preside: the incorrigible Artful Dodger, the murderous bully Sikes, and the terrible Fagin, that treacherous ringleader whose grinning knavery threatens to send them all to the ghostly gallows. Yet at the heart of this drama is the orphan Oliver, whose unsullied goodness leads him at last to salvation. In 1838 the publication of Oliver Twist firmly established the literary eminence of young Dickens. It was, according to Edgar Johnson, a clarion peal announcing to the world that in Charles Dickens the rejected and forgotten and misused of the world had a champion.
Pip doesn't expect much from life...His sister makes it clear that her orphaned little brother is nothing but a burden on her. But suddenly things begin to change. Pip's narrow existence is blown apart when he finds an escaped criminal, is summoned to visit a mysterious old woman and meets the icy beauty Estella. Most astoundingly of all, an anonymous person gives him money to begin a new life in London. Are these events as random as they seem? Or does Pip's fate hang on a series of coincidences he could never have expected?
With an Introduction and Notes by Doreen Roberts, University of Kent at Canterbury. Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz). Bleak House is one of Dickens' finest achievements, establishing his reputation as a serious and mature novelist, as well as a brilliant comic writer. It is at once a complex mystery story that fully engages the reader in the work of detection, and an unforgettable indictment of an indifferent society. Its representations of a great city's underworld, and of the law's corruption and delay, draw upon the author's personal knowledge and experience. But it is his symbolic art that projects these things in a vision that embraces black comedy, cosmic farce, and tragic ruin. In a unique creative experiment, Dickens divides the narrative between his heroine, Esther Summerson, who is psychologically interesting in her own right, and an unnamed narrator whose perspective both complements and challenges hers.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old skinflint. He hates everyone, especially children. But at Christmas three ghosts come to visit him, scare him into mending his ways, and he finds, as he celebrates with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and their family, that geniality brings its own reward. This finest of all Christmas stories is beautifully illustrated with Arthur Rackham's superb line drawings.
Dicken's third novel, published in 1839, is a brilliant and vivid melodrama of honest youth triumphing over vice and injustice. Bursting with energy and populated by a whole world of inimitable and memorable characters - including especially the theatrical troupe with whom Nicholas performs - the book is both a griping story and a series of magnificent scenes. It is also indignant protest against cruelty and oppression, most memorably encapsulated in Dickens's powerful portrayal of Mr Squeers and his wicked boarding school - a passage which was to be instrumental in helping to reform the Victorian education system. The novel has been adapted for television stage and screen.
Great Expectations was first published as a weekly serial in All the Year Round, December 1860 - August 1861. Its first appearance in volume form was as three-volume novel, without illustrations, in July 1861. A one-volume edition, the next year, preceded its inclusion in the collected editions of Dickens's lifetime. The three-volume 1861 edition is the basis of the present text: variant readings, including those in manuscript and extant proofs, are recorded in the textual apparatus, providing an unusually rich source of information on Dickens's methods of composition. The Introduction traces this process of composition and draws attention to the two unperformed dramatic adaptations: the reading version and the 1861 play version, made as a safeguard of copyright. Appendices include the original ending, the author's notes, and two textual examinations, one of the five so-called `editions' of 1861, the other a comparison of the one-volume 1862 edition with the 1864 Library edition.
This series provides unabridged versions of pre-20th-century novels, complete with an introduction, glossary, extended writing questions and activities. Their sewn binding and hard laminated covers make them hardwearing for class use.
A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens' greatest historical novel, traces the private lives of a group of people caught up in the cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Terror. Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle's great work - The French Revolution. `The best story I have written' was Dickens' own verdict on A Tale of Two Cities, and the reader is unlikely to disagree with this judgement of a story which combines historical fact with the author's unsurpassed genius for poignant tales of human suffering, self-sacrifice, and redemption.
This volume presents 1,251 letters, 447 previously unpublished, for the years 1853 to 1855; it also includes, as a substantial Appendix of Addenda, over 280 letters of the years 1831 to 1852 which came to light too late for earlier volumes. The period is one of activity remarkable even for Dickens. Besides the continuous editing of Household Words (where his Hard Times appears as a weekly serial), he is still at work on Bleak House until August 1853 and in 1855 is writing the early numbers of Little Dorrit. He manages and acts in children's plays in his little Tavistock House theatre on Twelfth Night, and later takes the leading part in Wilkie Collins's drama The Lighthouse with great effect. Work with Miss Coutts and the troublesome inmates of her `Home' increases, and readings for charity have begun. The Crimean war and the government's mismanagement receive much comment in letters and satirical articles, and lead to one exceptional venture into political life with a speech for the Administrative Reform Association. But his long and happy periods of residence in France with his family encourage a more detached view, and he also revisits Switzerland and Italy on a two-month tour with Collins and the painter Augustus Egg. Friends and family still dominate his personal life, but for a few weeks long-past emotions are revived when he hears from his old love Maria Beadnell, now a middle-aged Mrs Winter.
This brilliantly coloured tale of the French Revolution is an historical romance set in Paris and London. Famous for the character of Sidney Carton who sacrifices himself upon the guillotine' it is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done '- the novel is also a powerful study of crowd psychology and the dark emotions aroused by the Revolution, illuminated by Dickens' lively comedy
The editor has corrected printers' errors and annotated unfamiliar terms and allusions. Three illustrations by George Cruikshank and a map of Oliver's London accompany the text. Backgrounds and Sources focuses on The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, central both to Dickens and to the characters in Oliver Twist. The act's far-reaching implications are considered in source materials that include parlimentary debates on The Poor Laws, a harrowing account of an 1835 Bedfordshire riot, and An Appeal to Fallen Women, Dickens' 1847 open letter to London's prostitutes urging them to turn their backs on debauchery and neglect. Ten letters on Oliver Twist, written between 1837 and 1864, are reprinted, including those to the novel's publisher, the novel's illustrator, and John Forster, Dickens' close friend and future biographer. In addition, readers can trace the evolution of the novel by examining Dickens' installment and chapter-division plans and enjoy Sikes and Nancy, the text of a public reading Dickens composed and performed often to large audiences. Early Reviews provides eight witty, insightful, and at times impassioned responses to the novel and to Oliver's plight by William Makepeace Thackeray and John Forster (anonymously), among others. Criticism includes twenty of the most significant interpretations of Oliver Twist published in this century. Included are essays by Henry James, George Gissing, Graham Greene, J. Hillis Miller, Harry Stone, Philip Collins, John Bayley, Keith Hollingsworth, Steven Marcus, Monroe Engel, James R. Kincaid, Michael Slater, Dennis Walder, Burton M. Wheeler, Janet Larson, Fred Kaplan, Robert Tracy, David Miller, John O. Jordan, and Gary Wills. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
Amy Dorrit's father is not very good with money. She was born in the Marshalsea debtors' prison and has lived there with her family for all of her twenty-two years, only leaving during the day to work as a seamstress for the forbidding Mrs. Clennam. But Amy's fortunes are about to change: the arrival of Mrs. Clennam's son Arthur, back from working in China, heralds the beginning of stunning revelations not just about Amy but also about Arthur himself.
Have you seen the New Windmills Language File? It provides imaginative photocopiable activities to help you teach writing, grammar and punctuation using A Christmas Carol and other popular New Windmills.
This edition of Hard Times includes an introduction by Philip Collins. It tells the tragic story of Louisa, starved of the graces of the imagination so essential to emotional well-being, and trapped in a loveless marriage.
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