Product Description From the Inside Flap Written deliberately to increase the circulation of Dickens's weekly magazine "Household Words Hard Times was a huge and instantaneous success upon publication in 1854. Yet this novel is not the cheerful celebration of Victorian life one might have expected from the beloved author of "The Pickwick Papers and "The Old Curiosity Shop. Compressed stark allegorical it is a bitter expose of capitalist exploitation during the industrial revolution-and a fierce denunciation of the philosophy of materialism which threatens the human imagination in all times and places. With a typically unforgettable cast of characters-including the heartless fact-worshipper Mr. Gradgrind the warmly endearing Sissy Jupe and the eternally noble Stephen Blackpool-"Hard Times carries a uniquely powerful message and remains one of the most widely read of Dickens's major novels. From the Back Cover Hard Times appeared in weekly parts in Household Words in 1854 printed on the pages usually occupied by leading articles on the major social issues of the day. In the overlapping worlds of Gradgrind's schoolroom Bounderby the humbug industrialist and Sissy Jupe of Sleary's Circus Dickens joyfully satirizes Utilitarianism the self-help doctrines of Samuel Smiles and the mechanization of the mid-Victorian soul. Although it is often called Dickens's 'industrial novel' as Kate Flint argues in her new Introduction Hard Times defies easy categorization. It is a novel deeply preoccupied with childhood and family life bursting with unresolvable tensions and contradictions and wonderfully entertaining in its metaphorical wit and invention. See all Product Description
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