Born six months after his father's death, David faces many hardships growing up in nineteenth-century England.
Presents portrayal of the orphan Pip's journey of self-discovery. This title shows how a young man's life is transformed by a mysterious series of events - an encounter with an escaped prisoner; a visit to a black-hearted old woman and a beautiful girl; and, a fortune from a secret donor.
Coketown is dominated by the figure of Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school owner and model of Utilitarian success. Feeding both his pupils and his family with facts, he bans fancy and wonder from young minds. As a consequence his obedient daughter Louisa marries the loveless businessman and bully of humility Mr Bounderby.
Wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit is surrounded by a host of grasping, unscrupulous relatives and suspects the family vices of selfishness and greed are already showing in his grandson. The younger Martin is therefore cast out upon the world to learn to fend for himself.
The youngest child of debtor William Dorrit, Amy is born in the Marshalsea prison. She is befriended by Arthur Clennam, whose mother employs 'Little Dorrit' as a seamstress. Then, following the discovery of a large and unexpected inheritance, the fortunes of the Dorrits undergo an extreme change and the family moves to Italy.
Around the central story of Nicholas Nickleby and the misfortunes of his family, Dickens created some of his most memorable characters: the muddle-headed Mrs Nickleby, the theatrical Crummles, their protege Miss Petowker, and the mindlessly cruel Squeers and his wife.
Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, this is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. As London erupts into riot, Barnaby Rudge struggles to escape the curse of his past.
Charles Dickens’s satirical masterpiece, The Pickwick Papers, catapulted the young writer into literary fame when it was first serialized in 1836–37. It recounts the rollicking adventures of the members of the Pickwick Club as they travel about England getting into all sorts of mischief. Laughoutloud funny and endlessly entertaining, the book also reveals Dickens’s burgeoning interest in the parliamentary system, lawyers, the Poor Laws, and the ills of debtors’ prisons. As G. K. Chesterton noted, “Before [Dickens] wrote a single real story, he had a kind of vision ... a map full of fantastic towns, thundering coaches, clamorous marketplaces, uproarious inns, strange and swaggering figures. That vision was Pickwick.”From the Trade Paperback edition.
Paul Dombey is an ambitious, calculating London merchant. He pins all his hopes for the future of his shipping firm on his fragile son whilst his daughter, Florence, goes unnoticed and neglected. It is only when the firm faces ruin, and Dombey is staring at a life of desolate solitude that Florence may finally be valued.
Taking a complex pattern of theme, symbol, comic exuberance, sharp social comment and telling detail, this novel takes a satirical look at wealth and its corrupting power, symbolized by the inheritance of a dust-heap and represented by the changing fortunes of Boffin, the golden dustman.
Described as a "tragedy of sorrows", the tale of Little Nell gripped the nation when it first appeared in 1841. It tells the story of Nell, uprooted from a secure and innocent childhood and cast into a world where evil takes many shapes, including Swiveller, Nubbles and the lecherous dwarf Quilp.