Widely regarded as Dickens's masterpiece, Bleak House centers on the generations-long lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, through which "whole families have inherited legendary hatreds." Focusing on Esther Summerson, a ward of John Jarndyce, the novel traces Esther's romantic coming-of-age and, in classic Dickensian style, the gradual revelation of long-buried secrets, all set against the foggy backdrop of the Court of Chancery. Mixing romance, mystery, comedy, and satire, Bleak House limns the suffering caused by the intricate inefficiency of the law.
The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the first single-volume edition, published by Bradbury & Evans in 1853, and reproduces thirty-nine of H. K. Browne's original illustrations for the book.
"Bah Humbug!" That's how Ebeneezer Scrooge feels about Christmas--until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future decide to show the crotchety old miser the error of his ways. Together they travel through time, revisiting all the people who have played an important role in Scrooge's life. And as their journey concludes, Scrooge is reminded of what it means to have love in his heart, and what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. A timeless story the whole family will enjoy!
" Like so many fond parents I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child," wrote Charles Dickens. "And his name is David Copperfield."
Of all of Dickens's novels, David Copperfield most closely reflects the events of his own life. The story of an abandoned waif who discovers life and love in an indifferent world, this classic tale of childhood is populated with a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains who number among the author's greatest creations.
"David Copperfield is filled with characters of the most astonishing variety, vividness, and originality," noted Somerset Maugham. "They are not realistic and yet they abound with life. There never were such people as the Micawbers, Pegotty and Barkis, Traddles, Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Dick, Uriah Heep and his mother. They are fantastic inventions of Dickens's exultant imagination, but they have so much vigor, they are so consistent, they are presented with so much conviction, that you believe in them. They are extravagant, but not unreal, and when you have once to know them you can never quite forget them." T. S. Eliot agreed: "Dickens excelled in character; in the creation of characters of greater intensity than human beings." And Virginia Woolf concluded: "In David Copperfield, though char-
acters swarm and life flows into every creek and cranny, some common feelings--youth, gaiety, hope--envelops the tumult, brings the scattered parts together, and invests the most perfect of all the Dickens novels with an atmosphere of beauty."
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-
dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
Dickens's classic morality tale of a starving orphan caught between opposing forces of good and evil is a powerful indictment of Victorian England's Poor Laws. Filled with dark humor and an unforgettable cast of characters Oliver Twist, Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sykes, and the Artful Dodger, to name a few Dickens's second novel is a compelling social satire that has remained popular since it was first serialized in 1837-39.
The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic is taken from the 1846 New Edition, revised and corrected by the author. It includes new explanatory notes and an appendix, A Brief History of the English Poor Laws.
Introduction by George Bernard Shaw
Pip, a poor orphan being raised by a cruel sister, does not have much in the way of great expectations--until he is inexplicably elevated to wealth by an anonymous benefactor. Full of unforgettable characters--including a terrifying convict named Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham, and her beautiful but manipulative niece, Estella, Great Expectations is a tale of intrigue, unattainable love, and all of the happiness money can’t buy. “Great Expectations has the most wonderful and most perfectly worked-out plot for a novel in the English language,” according to John Irving, and J. Hillis Miller declares, “Great Expectations is the most unified and concentrated expression of Dickens’s abiding sense of the world, and Pip might be called the archetypal Dickens hero.”
INCLUDES A MODERN LIBRARY READING GROUP GUIDE
Dickens's widely read satirical account of the Industrial Revolution.
Dickens creates the Victorian industrial city of Coketown, in northern England, and its unforgettable citizens, such as the unwavering utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind and the factory owner Josiah Bounderby, and the result is his famous critique of capitalist philosophy, the exploitative force he believed was destroying human creativity and joy. This edition includes new notes to the text.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens’s most popular and dramatic stories.
It begins on a muddy English road in an atmosphere charged with mystery and it ends in the Paris of the Revolution with one of the most famous acts of self-sacrifice in literature. In between lies one of Dickens’s most exciting books--a historical novel that, generation after generation, has given readers access to the profound human dramas that lie behind cataclysmic social and political events. Famous for its vivid characters, including the courageous French nobleman Charles Darnay, the vengeful revolutionary Madame Defarge, and cynical Englishman Sydney Carton, who redeems his ill-spent life in a climactic moment at the guillotine (“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done”), the novel is also a powerful study of crowd psychology and the dark emotions aroused by the Revolution, illuminated by Dickens’s lively comedy.
With an Introduction by Simon Schama
From the Trade Paperback edition.