Bleak House is one of Dickens' finest achievements, establishing his reputation as a serious and mature novelist, as well as a brilliant comic writer. It is at once a complex mystery story that fully engages the reader in the work of detection, and an unforgettable indictment of an indifferent society. Its representations of a great city's underworld, and of the law's corruption and delay, draw upon the author's personal knowledge and experience. But it is his symbolic art that projects these things in a vision that embraces black comedy, cosmic farce, and tragic ruin. In a unique creative experiment, Dickens divides the narrative between his heroine, Esther Summerson, who is psychologically interesting in her own right, and an unnamed narrator whose perspective both complements and challenges hers.
With an Introduction and Notes by Doreen Roberts, University of Kent at Canterbury
Hard Times is perhaps the archetypal Dickens novel, full as it is with family difficulties, estrangement, rotten values and unhappiness. It was published in 1854 and it is the story of the family of Thomas Gradgrind, and occurs in the imaginary Coketown, an industrial city inspired by Preston. Gradgrind is a man obsessed with misguided ‘Utilitarian’ values that make him trust facts, statistics and practicality more than emotion and is based upon James Mill (the Utilitarian leader). He directs his own children, Louisa and Tom, in this same way: enforcing an artless existence upon them.More info →
Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers when it was first published. Dickens's tale of childhood innocence beset by evil depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters - the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. Combining elements of Gothic Romance, the Newgate Novel and popular melodrama, Dickens created an entirely newkind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society, and pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery.More info →
First published on 19 December 1843 and written at a time of decline in festive tradition, A Christmas Carol became an instant classic. While the character of Ebenezer Scrooge has become the epitome of miserliness, his story of redemption reinforces expectations for Christmas Day as a time of peace and goodwill to all men.
This beautiful hardback edition makes a wonderful seasonal gift that the whole family can enjoy.More info →
Readers can revel in Dickens' masterful atmospheric descriptions of Victorian London and the terror of the French Revolution as they encounter some of the novelist's most enduring and best-loved characters, from Fagin to Scrooge and Miss Havisham.
This luxury gift edition contains five volumes bound in high-quality cloth and matching color endsheets. These editions fit handsomely into a decorative slipcase with luxurious cloth finishes on the top and bottom. Complete and unabridged, these enduring classics make a wonderful gift or collectible to take pride of place on your bookshelf.
• Oliver Twist
• A Christmas Carol
• Hard Times
• A Tale of Two Cities
• Great Expectations
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Arcturus Collector's Classics series are high-quality, clothbound box-sets of classic works of literature. With elegant embossed cover-designs and colored endpapers, these editions make wonderful gifts or collectibles to treasure forever.More info →