Pip's life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His efforts to become a London gentleman bring him into contact not just with the upper classes but also with dangerous criminals. Pip's desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.
'The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself''Jarndyce and Jardyce' is an infamous lawsuit that has been in process for generations. Nobody can remember exactly how the case started but many different individuals have found their fortunes caught up in it. Esther Summerson watches as her friends and neighbours are consumed by their hopes and disappointments with the proceedings. But while the intricate puzzles of the lawsuit are being debated by lawyers, other more dramatic mysteries are unfolding that involve heartbreak, lost children, blackmail and murder.
When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal. Over the course of his adventures, David meets an array of eccentric characters and learns hard lessons about the world before he finally discovers true happiness.
Lucie Manette has been separated from her father for eighteen years while he languished in Paris's most feared prison, the Bastille. Finally reunited, the Manettes' fortunes become inextricably intertwined with those of two men, the heroic aristocrat Darnay and the dissolute lawyer Carton. Their story, which encompasses violence, revenge, love and redemption, is grippingly played out against the backdrop of the terrifying brutality of the French Revolution.
Oliver is an orphan living on the dangerous London streets with no one but himself to rely on. Fleeing from poverty and hardship, he falls in with a criminal street gang who will not let him go, however hard he tries to escape. In Oliver Twist, Dickens graphically conjures up the capital's underworld, full of prostitutes, thieves and lost and homeless children, and gives a voice to the disadvantaged and abused.
INCLUDES 'THE CHIMES' AND 'THE HAUNTED MAN'Ebenezer Scrooge is unimpressed by Christmas. He has no time for festivities or goodwill toward his fellow men and is only interested in money. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve, his life is changed by a series of ghostly visitations that show him some bitter truths about his choices.A Christmas Carol is Dickens' most influential book and a funny, clever and hugely enjoyable story.
Gentle Nell Trent lives a simple, if solitary life with her doting grandfather in his curiosity shop. Her parents died in poverty and unbeknownst to Nell her grandfather is obsessed with winning her an inheritance through gambling, but is forced to borrow heavily from malicious money-lender Quilp. As their debts mount up Nell and her grandfather are forced to flee London, pursued by the vindictive Quilp and others who seek to exploit them, in Dicken's classic tale of pathos and villainy.
Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens's story of a powerful man whose callous neglect of his family triggers his professional and personal downfall, showcases the author's gift for vivid characterization and unfailingly realistic description. As Jonathan Lethem contends in his Introduction, Dickens's "genius . . . is at one with the genius of the form of the novel itself: Dickens willed into existence the most capacious and elastic and versatile kind of novel that could be, one big enough for his vast sentimental yearnings and for every impulse and fear and hesitation in him that countervailed those yearnings too. Never parsimonious and frequently contradictory, he always gives us everything he can, everything he's planned to give, and then more." This Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1867 "Charles Dickens" edition.
On Christmas Eve, a party of friends descends on a purportedly haunted country retreat, charged with the task of discovering evidence of the supernatural. Sequestered in their rooms for the holiday, the friends reconvene on Twelfth Night at a great feast and share their stories of spectral encounter. "Conducted" by Charles Dickens and counting Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins among its contributors, The Haunted House examines quintessentially Victorian themes-sex and longing, nostalgia and loss-in ways that continue to resonate today. Ingeniously conceived and written, and spiked with flashes of Dickensian humor, this volume is a strange and sheer delight.
After the success of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' name became so synonymous with Christmas that on hearing of his death in 1870 a young girl in London asked, "Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?" But A Christmas Carol is just the most famous of his Christmas stories, and those contained here in this unforgettable collection - The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain - show Dickens at his heartwarming best.
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 characters 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.
Our Mutual Friend is a satiric masterpiece about money. The last novel Dickens completed, and perhaps his most angry, it sounds all the great themes of his later work: the innocence and venality of the aspiring poor, the hollow pretensions of the nouveau riche, the unfailing power of wealth to corrupt everyone it touches. Among those caught up in the ruthless forces of change in Dickens's London are the archetypal innocent Noddy Boffin, who 'inherits' a dustheap where the trash of the rich is thrown; Silas Wegg, a grotesque, one-legged man with unlimited fantasies of grandeur and power; Mr. Veneering, Member of Parliament, whose house, furnishings, servants, carriage, and baby are all 'bran-new'; and Alfred and Sophronia Lammle, who marry one another because each wrongly believes the other is rich. The social themes of Our Mutual Friend--having to do with the treatment of the poor, education, representative government, even the inheritance laws--are informed and brought into coherence by the underlying presence of the Thames, signifying the perpetual flow of life into death, and acting as agent of retribution and regeneration too, as a kind of river god in fact, in a novel in which no other god is very present.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY SIMON CALLOWWealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit is surrounded by a host of grasping, unscrupulous relatives and suspects the family vices of selfishness and greed are already showing in his grandson. The younger Martin is therefore cast out upon the world to learn to fend for himself. Apprenticed to the oily hypocrite Peckniff, he meets both the sweet-tempered Tom Pinch and the irrepressible Mark Tapley, with whom he sets forth to America to find his fortune. Dickens created some of his most gleefully repulsive and enduring characters in this tale of corruption and virtue, murder and unrequited love.
American Notes is the fascinating travel journal of one of nineteenth-century America's most celebrated visitors: Charles Dickens. A lively chronicle of his five-month trip around the United States in 1842, the book records the author's adventures journeying by steamboat and stagecoach, as well as his impressions of everything from schools and prisons to table manners and slavery. More than a travelogue, it is also a serious discourse on the character and institutions of a young democracy. Dickens distrusted much of what he saw, and he wrote so frankly that the New York Herald dismissed the work as 'the essence of balderdash.' In retrospect, American Notes can be read as the account of a traumatic excursion from which Dickens emerged, both emotionally and politically, a changed man. With a new introduction by Christopher Hitchens.
'One of Dickens's most neglected, but most rewarding, novels'
Peter AckroydBarnaby Rudge is a young innocent simpleton who is devoted to his talkative raven, Grip. When he gets caught up in the mayhem of the Gordon riots and a mysterious unsolved murder, his life is put in jeopardy. Barnaby Rudge a powerful historical tale of treachery, forbidden love, abduction and the dangerous power of the mob.
@2@Oliver Twist is a desperate orphan. A gang of thieves takes him in and teaches him to steal, but then he is caught. What will become of poor Oliver Twist? Kids can find out in this easy-to-read chapter book adaptation of the Dickens classic.@3@
Two classic Charles Dickens novels now available together in one convenient eBook.
A Tale of Two Cities
Contains an afterword by Stephen Koch.
With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure -- in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation -- A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens's most energetic and exciting works.
Contains an introduction by John Irving.
In the marshy mists of a village churchyard, a tiny orphan boy named Pip is suddenly terrified by a shivering, limping convict on the run. Years later, a supremely arrogant young Pip boards the coach to London where, by the grace of a mysterious benefactor, he will join the ranks of the idle rich and "become a gentleman." Finally, in the luminous mists of the village at evening, Pip the man meets Estella, his dazzingly beautiful tormentor, in a ruined garden--and lays to rest all the heartaches and illusions that his "great expectations" have brought upon him. Dickens's biographer, Edgar H. Johnson, has said that--except for the author's last-minute tampering with his original ending--Great Expectations is "the most perfectly constructed and perfectly written of all Dickens's works." In John Irving's Introduction to this edition, the novelist takes the view that Dickens's revised ending is "far more that mirror of the quality of trust in the novel as a whole." Both versions of the ending are printed here.
@20@A Tale of Two Cities@21@ is Charles Dickens's great historical novel, set against the violent upheaval of the French Revolution. The most famous and perhaps the most popular of his works, it compresses an event of immense complexity to the scale of a family history, with a cast of characters that includes a bloodthirsty ogress and an antihero as believably flawed as any in modern fiction. Though the least typical of the author's novels, @20@A Tale of Two Cities@21@ still underscores many of his enduring themes--imprisonment, injustice, and social anarchy, resurrection and the renunciation that fosters renewal.@16@@16@Over the years the Modern Library has become a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable, beautifully produced, hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. Perfect for students, the Modern Library comprises over 170 titles by such oft-studied authors as Plato, Chaucer, Bronte, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Joyce, Keats, Shakespeare and Chekhov. @16@@16@And coming soon, more Modern Library titles on the Random House Web Site.
An immediate bestseller when it was first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol has endured ever since as a perennial Yuletide favorite. Charles Dickens's beloved tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge--who comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill through a haunting Christmas Eve encounter with four ghosts--is a heartwarming celebration of the spirit of Christmas. 'Whether the Christmas visions would or would not convert Scrooge, they convert us,' wrote G. K. Chesterton. 'The story sings from end to end like a happy man going home.'
The Modern Library edition also presents two more of Dickens's popular Christmas stories, The Chimes and The Haunted Man, Dickens's last Christmas tale, which features one of his greatest comic families, the Tetterbys. With an introduction by John Irving.
It is said that Charles Dickens invented Christmas, and within these pages you'll certainly find all the elements of a quintessential traditional Christmas brought to vivid life: snowy rooftops, gleaming shop windows, steaming bowls of punch, plum puddings like speckled cannon balls, sage and onion stuffing, miracles, magic, charity and goodwill. This beautifully produced Vintage Classics edition gathers together not only Dickens' Christmas Books ('A Christmas Carol', 'The Chimes', 'The Battle of Life','The Cricket on the Hearth' and 'The Haunted Man') but also stories that Dickens wrote for the special seasonal editions of his periodicals All the Year Round and Household Words, and a festive tale from The Pickwick Papers. A must-have for Christmas, this edition should be as necessary to your festivities as holly, mistletoe and silver bells.
When Nicholas's father dies he, his mother and sister are left penniless. To earn his keep, Nicholas becomes a tutor at Dotheboys Hall but soon discovers that the headmaster, Wackford Squeers, is a one-eyed tyrant who insists on a harsh regime. Nicholas embarks on an adventure that takes him from loathsome boarding schools to the London stage. Dickens confronts issues of neglect and cruelty in this blackly comic masterpiece.
The Pickwick Papers was Dickens' first novel and was a huge success when it was first published. It tells the tale of the irrepressible Mr Pickwick and his fellow Pickwick Club members who travel around the English countryside getting into all kinds of scrapes and adventures. Funny, warm-hearted and full of memorable and engaging characters, this is an enchanting novel that continues to delight readers today.
'Hold your noise! Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!'Little orphan Pip scarcely imagines how a terrifying encounter with a convict on the lonely marshes will later transform his life. Pip is more troubled by his visits to strange old Miss Havisham - her decaying wedding dress and the house full of memories - and the beautiful girl Estella who makes him ashamed of his country manners and coarse hands. A blacksmith's apprentice could never hope to win Estella, but then, young Pip's future might not turn out quite as expected...Includes exclusive material: In 'The Backstory' you can learn about Victorian convicts and the alternative ending to Great Expectations! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
'Look here! Here's a jolly life! What's the odds where it comes from?'Meet the Artful Dodger, as roistering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four foot six. With him, you'll run down the dirty backstreets of London to be entertained by the Respectable Old Gentleman and his brood of thieves and pickpockets. Fagin will bring you to 'the trade', and make something of you, something profitable.But there's something about the young orphan Oliver that's too good for this dark and dangerous world - can he ever escape its clutches?Includes exclusive material: In 'The Backstory' you can learn more about Oliver Twist's London!Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.