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No Thoroughfare By Charles Dickens
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Two boys from the Foundling Hospital are given the same name, with disastrous consequences in adulthood. Two associates, wishing to right the wrong, are commissioned to find a missing heir. Their... More > quest takes them from fungous wine cellars in the City of London to the sunshine of the Mediterranean—across the Alps in winter. Danger and treachery would prevail were it not for the courage of the heroine and the faithful company servant. The story contains crafted descriptions, well-drawn and diverse characters, eerie and exotic backgrounds, mystery, semi-concealed identities, brinkmanship with death, romance, the eventual triumph of Good over Evil, and many other elements expected in classic Dickens.< Less
The Pickwick Club By Charles Dickens
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With its scores of delightful, improbably named characters, this story of the celebrated Pickwick Club--wherein the members report on their journeys, adventures, and observations of manner--reels... More > with joyous fantasy, infectious good humor, and a touch of the macabre.< Less
A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens
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A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. The story tells of bitter and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological,... More > ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits from Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim.< Less
Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit By Charles Dickens
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Set partly in America, which Dickens had visited in 1842, the novel includes a searing satire on the United States. Martin Chuzzlewit is the story of two Chuzzlewits, Martin and Jonas, who have... More > inherited the characteristic Chuzzlewit selfishness. It contrasts their diverse fates of moral redemption and worldly success for one, with increasingly desperate crime for the other. This powerful black comedy involves hypocrisy, greed and blackmail, as well as the most famous of Dickens's grotesques, Mrs Gamp. In her introduction to this new Penguin Classics edition, Patricia Ingham discusses how, in writing a story that was only meant to 'recommend goodness and innocence', Dickens succeeded in exploring 'the intertwining of moral sensibility and brutality.'< Less
Nicholas Nickleby By Charles Dickens
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When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father's death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both... More > hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys; the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas; and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummles and their daughter, the 'infant phenonenon'. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, revealing his comic genius at its most unerring.< Less
Great Expectations By Charles Dickens
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Great Expectations is Charles Dickens's thirteenth novel. It is his second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person.[N 1] Great Expectations is a bildungsroman, or a... More > coming-of-age novel, and it is a classic work of Victorian literature. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in serial form in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes.< Less
A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens
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'Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; -- the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!' After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally... More > released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.< Less
Bleak House By Charles Dickens
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Bleak House is a satirical look at the Byzantine legal system in London as it consumes the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of innocents--a contemporary tale indeed.... More > Dickens's tale takes us from the foggy dank streets of London and the maze of the Inns of Court to the peaceful countryside of England. Likewise, the characters run from murderous villains to virtuous girls, from a devoted lover to a "fallen woman," all of whom are affected by a legal suit in which there will, of course, be no winner.< Less
Hard Times By Charles Dickens
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The 'terrible mistake' was the contemporary utilitarian philosophy, expounded in Hard Times as the Philosophy of Fact by the hard-headed disciplinarian Thomas Gradgrind. But the novel, Dickens's... More > shortest, is more than a polemical tract for the times; the tragic story of Louisa Gradgrind and her father is one of Dickens's triumphs. When Louisa, trapped in a loveless marriage, falls prey to an idle seducer, the crisis forces her father to reconsider his cherished system. Yet even as the development of the story reflects Dickens's growing pessimism about human nature and society, Hard Times marks his return to the theme which had made his early works so popular: the amusements of the people. Sleary's circus represents Dickens's most considered defence of the necessity of entertainment, and infuses the novel with the good humour which has ensured its appeal to generations of readers.< Less
Dombey and Son By Charles Dickens
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Paul Dombey is a heartless London merchant who runs his domestic affairs as he runs his business. In the tight orbit of his daily life there is no room for dealing with emotions because emotion has... More > no market value. In his son he sees the future of his firm and the continuation of his name, while he neglects his affectionate daughter, until he decides to get rid of her beloved, a lowly clerk. But Dombey's weakness is his pride, and he falls prey to the treacherous flattery of others. Combining an intricate plot, vivid language, and Dickens's customary social commentary, Dombey and Son, explores the possibility of moral and emotional redemption through familial love.< Less