Coketown is dominated by the figure of Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school headmaster and model of Utilitarian success. Feeding both his pupils and his family with facts, he bans fancy and wonder from young adult minds. As a consequence his obedient daughter Louisa marries the loveless businessman and 'bully of humanity' Mr Bounderby, and his son Tom rebels to become embroiled in gambling and robbery. And, as their fortunes cross with those of free-spirited circus girl Sissy Jupe and victimised weaver Stephen Blackpool, Gradgrind is eventually forced to recognise the value of the human heart in an age of materialism and machinery.
This edition of Hard Times is based of the text of the first volume publication of 1854. Kate Flint's introduction sheds light on the frequently overlooked character interplay in Dickens's great critique of Victorian industrial society.
About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenally successful Pickwick Papers (1836-7). His novels captured and held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. David Trotter is Quain Professor of English Language and Literature and Head of Department at University College London. Charlotte Mitchell is Lecturer in English at University College London.
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Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: May 2003
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.28