Our Mutual Friend (Annotated)

Our Mutual Friend (Annotated)

by Charles Dickens


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"Our Mutual Friend, written in the years 1864-65, is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining savage satire with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, quoting from the character Bella Wilfer in the book, ""money, money, money, and what money can make of life.""[1]Most reviewers in the 1860s continued to praise Dickens' skill as a writer in general, though not reviewing this novel in detail. Some found the plot too complex, and not well laid out.[2] The Times of London found the first few chapters did not draw the reader into the characters. However, in the 20th century reviewers have found much to approve in the later novels of Dickens, including Our Mutual Friend.[3] In the late 20th and early 21st century, some reviewers suggested that Dickens was experimenting with structure,[4][5] and that the characters considered somewhat flat and not recognized by the contemporary reviewers[6] were true representations of the Victorian working class and key to understanding the structure of the society depicted by Dickens in this novel."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798678499776
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: 08/31/2020
Pages: 578
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.17(d)

About the Author

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsea Island (Portsmouth). He was the second child of his parents, John Dickens and Elizabeth Dickens. His father worked as a clerk in Navy Pay Office. In 1815, John Dickens was transferred to London, the whole family moved with him and settled in Kent, where Charles spent the early days of his life to the age of 11. Charles had a few years of private education in Chatham, Kent. By the end of 1822, the Dickens family was heavily indebted as they lived beyond their means. According to the laws of the day, John Dickens' creditors forced him into the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London in 1824. The wife and youngest children joined him in the prison, according to the norms of the society. Charles was 12 years of age at that time. He moved with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, in Camden Town. Later, he lived in the house of an agent for the Insolvent Court, Archibald Russell.
On Sundays, Charles used to spend his time at the Marshalsea with his sister Frances, who was studying at the Royal Academy of Music. To pay for his board and to help his family, Charles had no other choice but to leave school and work at Warren's Blacking Warehouse located on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Chairing Cross Railway Station. He earned 6 Shillings a week for a 10-hour day work. The working conditions for labor class were very harsh in those days, Charles had to go through the hardest period of his life during these days. These hardships left a lasting impression on Charles' intellect, most of his works revolve around the reform of socio-economic and labor conditions.

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


Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

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