Dickens Library (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

Beloved by readers the world over, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he went on to become the most successful British writer of the Victorian age -- and possibly the greatest novelist England ever produced. Drawing on his own life experiences as well as things he witnessed as a young Parliamentary reporter, he created some of the most repugnant villains in literature, as well ...
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Overview

Beloved by readers the world over, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he went on to become the most successful British writer of the Victorian age -- and possibly the greatest novelist England ever produced. Drawing on his own life experiences as well as things he witnessed as a young Parliamentary reporter, he created some of the most repugnant villains in literature, as well as some of the most likeable (and unlikely) heroes.

Now you can dip into Dickens’s gallery of characters with this specially priced set of eight novels spanning his extraordinary writing career:

  • Oliver Twist (1837-38)
  • Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39)
  • A Christmas Carol (1843)
  • David Copperfield (1849-50)
  • Bleak House (1852-53)
  • Hard Times (1854)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  • Great Expectations (1860-61)
Renowned as much as for their detailed depictions of the social conditions of the day as for their vivid characters, Dickens's novels were rooted in his keen sense of the need for social reforms. But it was his vivid characterizations and intricate plots that turned his sympathies into enduring art. Dickens's friend and biographer, John Forster, observed that Dickens made "characters real existences, not by describing them but by letting them describe themselves." T. S. Eliot commented that "Dickens's figures belong to poetry, like figures of Dante or Shakespeare, in that a single phrase, either by them or about them, may be enough to set them wholly before us."

The Barnes & Noble Classics series offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400500383
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 11/4/2009
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Edition description: Eight-volume set
  • Sales rank: 56,091
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 14.00 (h) x 6.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is probably the greatest novelist England ever produced. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life -- along with his memorable characters -- have made him beloved by readers the world over. In Dickens' books live some of the most repugnant villains in literature, as well as some of the most likeable (and unlikely) heroes.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Customer Reviews

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( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect Dickens Set

    This collection from Barnes and Nobles is perfect for those of us who love the classics. There are a few Dickens books missing that I would have liked to see in this set, but for the money this is a good as it gets. Barnes and Nobles makes great quality paperbacks, so I don't really mind these books not being in hardback. Truly, this is a perfect collection and an oppurtunity that shouldn't be missed.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    A must-have for any Dickens fan!

    I bought this pack for leisure reading AND nostalgia considering I have been a fan of Dickens since my Engligh teacher gave me Great Expectations at the age of 8! Great buy, great value for the money and an amazing read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Great Set

    This is a superb Dickens set for the price. It contains all of the books that the average reader would want to read, and they are of good quality (for paperbacks) and are pleasant looking inside and out. I would have liked to see the Pickwick Papers in this set, but otherwise I am very happy with the content. My only other gripe is the cover used on Oliver Twist, I don't understand why B&N would use a mid 20th Century photo on the cover of a book set 100 years before, but of course this is a very small complaint as I love this set.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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