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Hard Times By Charles Dickens
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Hard Times is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times. Hard Times is unusual in several... More > respects. It is by far shortest of Dickens' novels, barely a quarter of length of those written before and after it. The Utilitarians were one of the targets of this novel. Utilitarianism was a prevalent school of thought during this period, its founders being Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, father to political theorist John Stuart Mill. Theoretical Utilitarian ethics hold that promotion of general social welfare is the ultimate goal for individual and society in general: "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people." Dickens believed that in practical terms, the pursuit of a totally rationalized society could lead to great misery. Dickens was appalled by what was, in his interpretation, a selfish philosophy of materialist laissez-faire capitalism including exploitation of children..< Less
Great Expectations By Charles Dickens
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Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in serial form in All the Year Round from 1... More > December 1860 to August 1861 On Christmas Eve, around 1812, Pip, an orphan of about six, encounters an escaped convict in village churchyard while visiting his mother's, father's and younger brothers' graves. The convict scares Pip into stealing food for him, and a file to grind away his shackles, from the home he shares with his older sister and her husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith. Next day, soldiers recapture two convicts engaged in a fight and return them to the prison ship. Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster who wears an old wedding dress and lives in the dilapidated Satis House, asks Pip's "Uncle Pumblechook" (who is actually Joe's uncle) to find a boy to play with her adopted daughter Estella. Pip begins to visit Miss Havisham and Estella, with whom he falls in love, with Miss Havisham's encouragement.< Less
Bleak House By Charles Dickens
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Bleak House is a novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens's finest novels, containing one of the most vast,... More > complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon. The story is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. Follow Dickens's brilliant and sweeping narrative of the case over an orphan child, which consumes the minds and spirits everyone involved. Unforgettable characters include and the childish and imprudent Harold Skimpole, the friendly yet depressive John Jarndyce, Lady and Sir Dedlock, and the cold and indifferent lawyer Tulkinghorn, who represents the iron will of the law. Memorable characters include the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the friendly, but depressive John Jarndyce, and the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the likeable but imprudent Richard Carstone.< Less
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby By Charles Dickens
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Nickleby is a novel by Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens' third novel. The novel centers on the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young... More > man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies. His Uncle Ralph, who thinks Nicholas will never amount to anything, plays the role of principal antagonist. Nicholas Nickleby is Charles Dickens' third published novel. He returned to his favourite publishers and to the format that was considered so successful with The Pickwick Papers. The story first appeared in monthly parts, after which it was issued in one volume. The style is considered to be episodic and humorous. Dickens began writing 'Nickleby' while still working on Oliver Twist and while the mood is considerably lighter, his depiction of the Yorkshire school run by Wackford Squeers is as moving and influential as those of the workhouse and criminal underclass in Twist.< Less
A Tale of Two Cities By Charles Dickens
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A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional... More > literature. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events. The most notable are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a former French aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Carton is a dissipated English barrister who endeavors to redeem his ill-spent life out of his unrequited love for Darnay's wife..< Less

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