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Hard Times Charles Dickens

Hard Times By Charles Dickens

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

New RRP £16.95
Condition - Very Good
Only 4 left


"Graham Law's edition of Hard Times is the most useful edition for teaching Dickens that I have seen." -- Barry V. Qualls, Rutgers University

Hard Times Summary

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Despite the title, Dickens's portrayal of early industrial society here is less relentlessly grim than that in novels by contemporaries such as Elizabeth Gaskell or Charles Kingsley. Hard Times weaves the tale of Thomas Gradgrind, a hard-headed politician who raises his children Louisa and Tom without love, of Sissy the circus girl with love to spare who is deserted and adopted into their family, and of the honest mill worker Stephen Blackpool and the bombastic mill owner Josiah Bounderby. The key contrasts created are finally less those between wealth and poverty, or capitalists and workers, than those between the head and the heart, between "Fact"-the cold, rationalistic approach to life that Dickens associates with utilitarianism-and "Fancy"-a warmth of the imagination and of the feelings, which values individuals above ideas.

Concentrated and compressed in its narrative form, Hard Times is at once a fable, a novel of ideas, and a social novel that seeks to engage directly and analytically with political issues. The central conflicts raised in the text, between government's duty not to intervene to guarantee the liberty of the subject, and between quantitative and qualitative assessments of progress, remain unresolved today in the late or post industrial stages of liberal democracies.

Hard Times Reviews

Graham Law's edition of Hard Times is the most useful edition for teaching Dickens that I have seen. Its text is authoritative, and the range of contextual documents included gives readers an opportunity to situate the work in the discussions of industrialization and labor as they took place in nineteenth-century England." - Barry V. Qualls, Rutgers University

"This beautifully produced edition combines a freshly written, informative introduction with helpful and well-judged notes. Particularly welcome is the wealth of documentary material and examples carefully chosen from other contemporary fiction, enabling readers to place Hard Times within its full Victorian context. This is an excellent edition-clear, authoritative and stimulating." - Kate Flint, University of Oxford

About Charles Dickens

Graham Law, a Professor of English at Waseda University, Japan, is the author of a variety of books and articles on nineteenth-century and modern fiction; he has also edited two other Broadview Literary Texts series editions: Great Expectations (with Adrian Pinnington) and The Evil Genius.

Additional information

Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Used - Very Good
Broadview Press Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Hard Times