Hard Times by Charles DickensHard Times by Charles Dickens

Hard Times

byCharles Dickens

Mass Market Paperback | January 1, 2007

about

This story of class conflict in Victorian England serves as a powerful critique of the social injustices that plagued the Industrial Revolution.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

• A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information
• A chronology of the author's life and work
• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
• An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations
• Detailed explanatory notes
• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work
• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction
• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience
Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before pu...
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Title:Hard TimesFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 1 inPublished:January 1, 2007Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416523731

ISBN - 13:9781416523734

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hard Times Reading This Book I found it boring and difficult to read in terms of flow, sentence structure, and the will to continue reading. There weren't any characters that compelled me.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Liked It This was my first Dickens' novel and I wasn't disappointed. I liked the story, and there was a good amount of dry humour throughout.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did Not Enjoy This I find Dickens' prose here to long winded and indulgent. Additionally, I felt as though many of the characters had no personality, and instead had strong accents and slang to cover up that fact. Just wasn't for me I guess.
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun little story A much narrower scope than any of the other Dickens works I've read, but I liked the characters and the insights into people. I was a bit sad that I got invested in Sissy in the first couple chapters, and then the story diverged and she became a minor character, but I liked the other characters just as well. All in all, I enjoyed myself!
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the Best It has been a while since I read this book. From what I remember it was not the best book I have ever read. I have only read two or three of Charles Dickens books and this one was my least favorite. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Yuck I love Dickens, but didn't like this at all.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes Great novel about the evils of the industrial revolution and the impoverished classes
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from More of the same There is a character that appears in all of Charles Dickens' books whom I can't stand. He is the noble worker, the lower class moral compass, and he is consistently a source of Dickens' naive idealism, which, for a jaded soul like me, is a constant impediment to full enjoyment of Dickens' excellent prose. Bob Cratchett, Scrooge's clerk in A Christmas Carol, is the most insufferable of his kind, Joe Gargery, Pip's Uncle in Great Expectations, is the most sufferable of his kind, and Stephen Blackpool, Mr. Bounderby's weaver in Hard Times, falls somewhere in between. Blackpool is morally perfect throughout Hard Times, the man we are to gauge ourselves and everyone in the book against. Blackpool actually believes in justice to such an extent -- despite evidence in his own life to the contrary -- that he would put himself in danger of imprisonment "to clear his name." Further, he believes in the "goodness" of social conventions so completely that he withholds any chance of full happiness with Rachael so that he won't become a "bad" man. I am not sure what I find more annoying, the fact that Dickens believes that people like this exist in such seeming numbers, or the belief that they are somehow people we should aspire to be like? I will concede that people like this do exist, but these people are, I reiterate, insufferable, and they are generally people who are incapable of truly thinking for themselves. And all of this reveals Dickens as that most painful, wishy washy, and dangerous of people -- the bleeding heart liberal. The kind of person who believes, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if we all just talk about things and complain peaceably the world will change for the better. I proudly declare myself for the left of the political scale, but I'll be damned if I will get my permit to protest and go home with a happy glow in my heart that I've done the "right" thing, when I know full well that I changed absolutely nothing. For a guy like me Dickens is a tough read. Still, Hard Times was one of Dickens' better ones, and at the very least I recognize and admire the strength of Dickens' prose. He is, politics aside, a beautiful writer.
Date published: 2008-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard Times This novel, unique to Dickens in that it is the only one set in a ficticious town, take a fascinating look at what mechanical, unimaginative and unemotional approaches to life and family may lead. Outlining a somewhat distorted "objectivistic" attitude in his hard-nosed characters, Dickens compliments them beautifully with fun-loving, carefree characters, such as Cissy and Rachael. This novel has an underlying moral buried beneath, should you choose to find it, and leaves the reader feeling a little bit better about themselves.
Date published: 2000-10-05

Read from the Book

I The One Thing Needful Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!" The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a schoolroom, and the speaker's square forefinger emphasized his observations by underscoring every sentence with a line on the schoolmaster's sleeve. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. The emphasis was helped by the speaker's hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside. The speaker's obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders -- nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was -- all helped the emphasis. "In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!" The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.