John Halifax, Gentleman

Overview

A young orphan goes from rags to riches in this remarkable tale of friendship, love, and adventure at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

Like Charles Dickens's beloved Oliver Twist, John Halifax is an orphan. Determined to make his success through honest hard work, he becomes an apprentice to Abel Fletcher, a tanner and Quaker, whose invalid son, Phineas, befriends John as a young boy. Together they embark upon numerous adventures, with Phineas narrating John's noble ...

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John Halifax, Gentleman: A Novel

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Overview

A young orphan goes from rags to riches in this remarkable tale of friendship, love, and adventure at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

Like Charles Dickens's beloved Oliver Twist, John Halifax is an orphan. Determined to make his success through honest hard work, he becomes an apprentice to Abel Fletcher, a tanner and Quaker, whose invalid son, Phineas, befriends John as a young boy. Together they embark upon numerous adventures, with Phineas narrating John's noble struggles in business and love. Spanning four decades, the novel chronicles John's improbable rise to industrial fortune and contested marriage to the noblewoman Ursula. On his journey, John must overcome the deep prejudices of an aristocracy that refuses to view him as anything but a simple commoner, no matter his professional achievements or strength of character.

In John Halifax, Gentleman Dinah Maria Mulock deftly explores the sweeping transformations wrought by the Industrial Revolution, including the rise of the middle class and its impact on the social, economic, and political makeup of Great Britain as it transitioned from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Helena Michie Rice University
"An enormously useful and complete edition of an important and neglected Victorian novel. The editorial material is very helpful, pointing to and expanding upon the novel's many contexts, from the role of women to industrial reform."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062356154
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/4/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik was born in Staffordshire, England, in 1826. The daughter of a local minister, Craik was raised from an early age to value education and literature. She moved to London at the age of twenty and quickly became a popular author, publishing numerous short stories to considerable commercial and critical acclaim. An affable and witty conversationalist, Craik became something of a celebrity in London society. In 1854 she married George Lillie Craik, a partner with Alexander Macmillan at the publishing house Macmillan & Co. She died in 1887.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Dinah Mulock Craik: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
John Halifax, Gentleman
Appendix A: The Idea of the “Gentleman” in Victorian Culture
1. From Lord Chesterfield, Letters to His Son and Others (1774)
2. From Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (1843)
3. From John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University (1854)
4. From Samuel Smiles, Self-Help (1859)
5. From [James Fitzjames] F. Stephen, “Gentlemen,” Cornhill Magazine (March 1862)
Appendix B: Working Conditions and Labor Unrest in the Early Nineteenth-Century
1. From J.E. Taylor, The Peterloo Massacre (1819)
2. From William Cobbett, Rural Rides (1830)
3. From Thomas Carlyle, “Signs of the Times,” Edinburgh Review (June 1829)
4. From Parlimentary Reports (1832-33)
a. from a speech by M.T. Sadler (1832)
b. from a speech by Richard Oastler, “Yorkshire Slavery” (1831-32)
c. from Parliamentary Papers, volume 20 (1833)
5. From Peter Gaskell, The Manufacturing Population of England (1833)
6. From John Fielden, The Curse of the Factory System (1836)
7. From Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (1845)
Appendix C: Women’s Roles in Victorian England
1. From Catherine Macaulay, Letters on Education (1790)
2. From Sarah Ellis, The Women of England, Their Social Duties and Domestic Habits (1839)
3. From Dinah Mulock Craik, A Woman’s Thoughts about Women (1858)
4. From Isabella Beeton, The Book of Household Management (1861)
5. From John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies (1865)
6. From John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869)
Appendix D: Reviews
1. “New Novels: John Halifax, Gentleman,” Athenaeum (26 April 1856)
2. From [Stopford Brooke], “Notes upon New Books: John Halifax,” Dublin University Magazine (October 1856)
3. From [R.H. Hutton], “Novels by the Authoress of ‘John Halifax,’” North British Review (1858)
4. From “The Author of John Halifax,” The British Quarterly Review (July 1866)
5. From Robert Nourse, “An Old Book for New Readers,” The Dial (June 1883)
6. From Frances Martin, “Mrs Craik,” Athenaeum (22 October 1887)
7. From S.M. Ellis, “Dinah Maria Mulock (Mrs. Craik),” The Bookman (April 1926)
Appendix E: Religious Issues
1. From George Fox, Journal (1694)
2. From John Wesley, Sermons on Several Occasions (1746)
3. From Charles Lamb, “A Quakers’ Meeting,” The Essays of Elia (1823)
4. From John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864)
5. From Mary Howitt, An Autobiography (1889)
Appendix F: Fictional Counterpoints
1. From Harriet Martineau, A Manchester Strike (Illustrations of Political Economy) (1832)
2. From Charlotte Brontë, Shirley (1849)
3. From Coventry Patmore, The Angel in the House (1854-62)
4. From Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1855)
5. From Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861)
Appendix G: Table of Dates of Relevant Events and Legislation
Select Bibliography

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