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This text, that of the 1854 first edition, has been re-edited in light of recent scholarly findings. Annotations have been revised and expanded.
"Backgrounds, Sources, and Contemporary Reactions" reprints all of the documents on industrialism, education, and utilitarianism that appeared in the Second Edition, save one, and introduces new pieces by R. D. Butterworth and Thomas Carlyle.
"Criticism" collects seventeen important essays on Hard Times-seven of them new to the Third Edition-by Hippolyte Taine, John Ruskin, George Gissing, Bernard Shaw, F. R. Leavis, Monroe Engel, Robert Barnard, David Craig, David Lodge, Roger Fowler, Patricia E. Johnson, Gorman Beauchamp, Martha C. Nussbaum, David L. Cowles, Jean Ferguson Carr, Eric P. Levy, and Leona Toker.
A Chronology and revised Selected Bibliography are also included.