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About the book
  • Published: 19 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141199566
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 358
  • RRP: $14.99

Hard Times

Penguin English Library




The Penguin English Library Edition of Hard Times by Charles Dickens

'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else'
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, 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.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in the English language, from the eighteenth century and the first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

  • Pub date: 19 September 2012
  • ISBN: 9780141199566
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 358
  • RRP: $14.99

About the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Hampshire on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office, who was well paid but often ended up in financial troubles. When Dickens was twelve years old he was send to work in a shoe polish factory because his family had be taken to the debtors' prison.Fagin is named after a boy Dickens disliked at the factory. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays began to appear in periodicals. The Pickwick Papers, his first commercial success, was published in 1836. In the same year he married the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, Catherine Hogarth. The serialisation of Oliver Twist began in 1837 while The Pickwick Papers was still running. Many other novels followed and The Old Curiosity Shop brought Dickens international fame and he became a celebrity America as well as Britain. He separated from his wife in 1858. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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