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Hard Times: (Starbooks Classics Editions)
     

Hard Times: (Starbooks Classics Editions)

3.8 71
by Charles Dickens, Emily Lam (Illustrator)
 

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Hard Times - For These Times (commonly known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times.

Literary significance & criticism

Critics have had a diverse range of opinions on the novel. The critic John Ruskin declared Hard

Overview

Hard Times - For These Times (commonly known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times.

Literary significance & criticism

Critics have had a diverse range of opinions on the novel. The critic John Ruskin declared Hard Times to be his favourite Dickens work due to its exploration of important social questions. However, Thomas Macaulay branded it "sullen socialism", on the grounds that Dickens did not fully comprehend the politics of the time. This point was also made by George Bernard Shaw, who decreed Hard Times to be a novel of "passionate revolt against the whole industrial order of the modern world." Shaw criticised the novel for its failure to provide an accurate account of trade unionism of the time, deeming Dickens's character of Slackbridge, the poisonous orator, "a mere figment of middle-class imagination." However, believing it to be very different from Dickens's other novels, he also said: "Many readers find the change disappointing. Others find Dickens worth reading almost for the first time."

F. R. Leavis, in The Great Tradition, described the book as essentially a moral fable, and said that 'of all Dickens' works (it is) the one that has all the strengths of his genius - that of a completely serious work of art'. This, however, was a view which he later revised in Dickens the Novelist, which recognised that Dickens's strengths and artistry appeared fully in other works.

Walter Allen, in an introduction to an alternative edition, characterised Hard Times as being an unsurpassed "critique of industrial society", which was later superseded by works of D. H. Lawrence. Other writers have described the novel as being, as G. K. Chesterton commented in his work Appreciations and Criticisms, "the harshest of his stories"; whereas George Orwell praised the novel (and Dickens himself) for "generous anger."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781497354739
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
03/15/2014
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 7, 1812
Date of Death:
June 18, 1870
Place of Birth:
Portsmouth, England
Place of Death:
Gad's Hill, Kent, England
Education:
Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Customer Reviews

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Hard Times 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the nimrod who, in a very self-aggrandizing sort of way, just gave away the entire PLOT to Hard Times. First of all, I've already read the book so your forsoothly monologue didn't tell me anything I didn't already know (and I have written a few papers on the book) and second of all, who's actually going to want to go out and buy the book now? THINK next time before you post! Okay? If people want the Cliffs Notes version, they can purchase it at Barnes & Noble!
DrRob72 More than 1 year ago
This truly one of dickens most overlooked works. It is classic in its depiction of the effects, good and bad, of industrialization on the people of Victorian England. From a teacher's perspective, this book could be used in just about any course as a across curriculum reading. A good read; classic Dickens!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Dickens's novels, and while this falls a bit short when compared to Great Expectations or David Copperfield, it is well worth reading. Character development leaves a bit to be desired in that, in order to explore his ideas about human development and politics, some of his characters are a bit caricaturish. Nonetheless, this is a great book.
Berto More than 1 year ago
Hard Times is probably Dickens' most underrated novel. It is a good protest against conditions and attitudes during the Victorian period however its main focus is not on the working class, although it seems to be with the first chapters. It is a book everyone interested in Victorian literature - and British literature in general - should read. It has an unbelievable writing style.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely Wonderful! This book is so fascinating and remarkable! I thought it extremely educational and interesting at the same time. I would read it again and I am not one to read books more than once! Bravo Dickens!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If l disappear randomly, my power went out. The lightning is getting close to my house now...like outside my window close...))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Blueberry then." She grinned.
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Davidg2 More than 1 year ago
Character development is weaker than in some other Dickens' novels, apparently in the interest of expressing points and ideas. The story itself earns 3+ stars. I found the inclusion of different British accents to be interesting and worthwhile. I do not like to read reviews or analysis as part of an introduction. Some of the footnote explanations were more fitting to a more novice audience. The story itself is worthy of 3+ stars but the give away introduction and elementary footnotes takes away from the read. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
C'mon. Back to camp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't care, Pat. First off, that's on the verge of godmodding. Second of all, I've stared the devil in the eye. I think I can survive a case of light poisoning.
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fosdick More than 1 year ago
Not Dickens' best. Lots of loose ends, especially in modern editions. Also not quite the harangue on England's unjust social conditions it's often said to be. Nonetheless, Dickens is a great story teller and this fits that mold. Plus it's short by his standards.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt it would be unfair to give this book only one star, since it is a classic. But, considering how painful it was to get through with the endless narration, incomprehensible accents of certain people, and run-on sentences, I've decided to shy away from the opinions of literary scholars and voice my own opinion. And the fact that it was terribly boring leaves me with no guilt in giving Hard Times a poor rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago