Charles Dickens

//Charles Dickens
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  • A well-though compilation of essays, discourses and short stories.  In this volume: The Philosophic Mind; A Bevy of Lovers; Husbands and Wives; Law and Lawyers; The London Scene; To Lie Magnificently; A Little Learning; Essays in Invective; Some Observations on Food; The Latest Hour; The Aphorisms of Samuel and Tony Weller.
  • The French Revolution - a time of great change and great danger; a time when injustice was met by a blood-lust for vengeance - and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. This tumultuous historical event is the setting for Dickens' story of unsurpassed adventure and courage. Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it, the pair are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman - Charles Darnay - falsely accused of treason. Yet - strangely enough - Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to the dissolute lawyer's clerk, Sydney Carton. Can this resemblance save Darnay? Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance and bravery.
  • It wouldn't be Christmas without Charles Dickens - the man who invented Christmas as we know it today. In this one volume are his three famous Yuletide tales. A Christmas Carol, the tale of the miserly Scrooge and the visitations that came on Christmas Eve to change his life, was written in 1840, red hot from his imagination. The Chimes is the tale of Trotty Veck the messenger and his daughter, and how they came to have faith and hope as the bells rang an old year out and a new year in; The Cricket on the Hearth records the fortunes of the cheerful home of John Peerybingle and his wife Dot. When the cricket chirps, all is well; but when it is silent, there is darkness and trouble coming. Dot is grateful for the cricket's presence and feels comforted when she can hear it for the Victorian age believed that when a  cricket chose to move in, the home would always be a happy, loving one.    Illustrated by Howard Simon.
  • Dombey is a proud, stern and unfeeling man obsessed with his son so that his shipping firm may one day bear the name 'Dombey and Son".  This single-minded ambition, granted then cruelly taken away leads Dombey through tragedy, bitterness and separation from his staunch daughter Florence and others who he has wronged and who have endeavoured to love him.
  • Pip Pirrip is chosen as a companion to Estelle, the eccentric Miss Havisham's adopted niece. As a boy, he helps escaped convict Magwitch - and some years later Pip finds himself very suddenly elevated from blacksmith's apprentice to a young man of means, with a very good education in view and no clue as to who his mysterious benefactor may be.  Filled with wonderful Dickens characters:  Joe Gadgery, the simple blacksmith, the mad Miss Havisham clad in the tatters of her wedding gown amid the ruin of her once-grand house, the sinister Magwitch, the perpetually upbeat Samuel Pockets and Samuel's equally upbeat Aged Parent. Plain cover edition that contains the two endings that Dickens had determined for Pip.
  • This Dickens offering is not set in London, but in the imaginary Northern Industrial town of Coketown - a place of blackened factories, downtrodden workers and a polluted environment, the soulless domain of the strict Thomas Gradgrind and heartless factory owner Josiah Bounderby.  However, there is always Mr. Sleary's Horse-Riding Circus to lighten things up - a gin-soaked and hilarious troupe of open-hearted and affectionate people who are the antidote to the drudgery and misery of Coketown.  Attacked for its 'sullen socialism', it is now regarded as Dickens' most important statement on Victorian society.
  • On of Dickens' classics written to rouse society to the sufferings of the poor and the Government's ineptness to do anything practical to help those who had no choice but the grim workhouse.  It also illustrates the complete lack of feeling toward the poor, and the corruption that was rife in a mean welfare system that actually made things worse, not better. Oliver's mother dies while bringing him into the world; and the sensitive boy is buffeted from the horrific workhouse to being sold to an undertaker and thence into the foul slums of London. He naively falls in with the Artful Dodger and the evil Fagin, fencer of stolen goods and schooler of children in the art of thievery. There is the vicious Bill Sikes and his pathetic lover Nancy, who is kind to Oliver; Mr Bumble the bullying beadle, Mrs Sowerberry and a whole raft of other vivid Dickensian characters. Oliver's story is unforgettable. Cover art by Seymour Chwast.
  • Dickens wrote five Christmas Books in all, the first and best known being A Christmas Carol. The Cricket On The Hearth is third in the series but probably the second favourite in line. The title cricket is a barometer of life at the home of John Peerybingle and his much younger wife, Dot. When things go well, the cricket on the hearth chirps; it is silent when there is sorrow. Tackleton, a jealous old man, poisons John's mind about Dot. The cricket, a creature long credited in many cultures with supernatural abilities, has his work cut out for him to detoxify good John's mind of the horrible suspicions Tackleton has sown.  Illustrated by Gordon Robinson.
  • Edwin Drood is contracted to marry orphan Rosa Bud when he comes of age, but when they find that duty has gradually replaced affection, they agree to break off the engagement. Shortly afterwards, in the middle of a storm on Christmas Eve, Edwin disappears, leaving nothing behind but some personal belongings and the suspicion that his jealous uncle John Jasper, madly in love with Rosa, is a murderer. Beyond this presumed crime there are further intrigues: the dark opium dens of the sleepy cathedral town of Cloisterham, and the sinister double life of Choirmaster Jasper, whose drug-fuelled fantasy life belies his respectable appearance. Dickens died before completing The Mystery of Edwin Drood, leaving its tantalising mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. Illustrated by C.E. Montford.