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Hard Times

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eBook published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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The shortest of Charles Dickens’s novels, Hard Times is also his most pointed and impassioned satire of social injustice.

Set in Coketown, a fictional industrial town in the north of England, Hard Times was born of its author’s indignation at the soul-crushing conditions of the industrial age, and yet it vibrantly transcends the stock situations and polemical weaknesses typical of social protest fiction of the time. The indelible characters—Mr. Gradgrind, whose utilitarian educational philosophy emotionally cripples his own children; the hypocritical factory owner Josiah Bounderby; Stephen Blackpool, an honest worker wrongly accused of a crime; and Sissy Jupe, a circus performer whose father abandons her to what he hopes is a better life—all come alive in classic Dickensian fashion, and contribute to a satiric vision of society tempered equally by righteous anger and compassionate humanity.

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The shortest of Charles Dickens’s novels, Hard Times is also his most pointed and impassioned satire of social injustice.

Set in Coketown, a fictional industrial town in the north of England, Hard Times was born of its author’s indignation at the soul-crushing conditions of the industrial age, and yet it vibrantly transcends the stock situations and polemical weaknesses typical of social protest fiction of the time. The indelible characters—Mr. Gradgrind, whose utilitarian educational philosophy emotionally cripples his own children; the hypocritical factory owner Josiah Bounderby; Stephen Blackpool, an honest worker wrongly accused of a crime; and Sissy Jupe, a circus performer whose father abandons her to what he hopes is a better life—all come alive in classic Dickensian fashion, and contribute to a satiric vision of society tempered equally by righteous anger and compassionate humanity.

Product Details
eBook (320 pages)
Published: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307950550
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  • Now, what I want is, Facts.

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  • She was a most wonderful woman for prowling about the house. How she got from story to story was a mystery beyond solution. A lady so decorous in herself, and so highly connected, was...

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  • There was a library in Coketown, to which general access was easy. Mr. Gradgrind greatly tormented his mind about what the people read in this library: a point whereon little rivers of...

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  • For the first time in her life Louisa had come into one of the dwellings of the Coketown Hands; for the first time in her life she was face to face with anything like individuality in...

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  • We shall sit with lighter bosoms on the hearth, to see the ashes of our fires turn gray and cold.

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