Charles Dickens wrote a number of supernatural and horror stories, some of which were included in his longer works, while others were published in magazines. This collection gathers them together in one volume, providing an invaluable insight into the author's storytelling apprenticeship and his steady growth towards excellence. As well as offering a further dimension to the world of his better-..
Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old skinflint. He hates everyone, especially children.
But at Christmas three ghosts come to visit him, scare him into mending his ways, and he finds, as he celebrates with Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and their family, that geniality brings its own reward.
This finest of all Christmas stories is beautifully illustrated with Arthur Rackham’s superb line drawings.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...'Set before and during the French Revolution in the cities of Paris and London, A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr Manette's release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with daughter, Lucie. A French aristocrat Darnay and English lawyer Carton compete in their love for Lucie and the ensuing tale plays out against the men..
'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…'
Set before and during the French Revolution in the cities of Paris and London, A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr Manette's release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with daughter, Lucie. A French aristocrat Darnay and English lawyer Carton compete in their love for Lucie and the ensuing tale plays out against the ..
Each of these short stories was written specifically for Christmas. They combine concern for social ills with the myths and memories of childhood and traditional Christmas spirit-lore. The stories include A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Battle of Life and The Cricket on the Hearth.
Interest in supernatural phenomena was high during Charles Dickens’ lifetime. He had always loved a good ghost story himself, particularly at Christmas time, and was open-minded, willing to accept, and indeed put to the test, the existence of spirits.
His natural inclinations toward drama and the macabre made him a brilliant teller of ghost tales, and in the twenty stories presented here, whi..
Dickens wrote of David Copperfield: 'Of all my books I like this the best'. Millions of readers in almost every language on earth have subsequently come to share the author's own enthusiasm for this greatly loved classic, possibly because of its autobiographical form. Following the life of David through many sufferings and great adversity, the reader will also find many light-hearted moments in ..
David Copperfield's happy childhood is abruptly ended by his mother's remarriage to Mr Murdstone. After enduring the misery of Salem House Academy and a life of drudgery in his step father's business, he runs away to his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood, in Dover, and transforms his life a second time - finding friendship with the ever optimistic Mr Micawber and falling in love with the adorable ..
Mr Dombey is a man obsessed with his firm. His son is groomed from birth to take his place within it, despite his visionary eccentricity and declining health. But Dombey also has a daughter, whose unfailing love for her father goes unreturned. 'Girls' said Mr Dombey, 'have nothing to do with Dombey and Son'.
When Walter Gay, a young clerk in her father's office, rescues her from a bewildering..
Throughout his illustrious writing career, Charles Dickens often turned his hand to fashioning short pieces of ghostly fiction. Even in his first successful work, The Pickwick Papers, you will find five ghost stories, all of which are included in this collection. Dickens began the tradition of 'the ghost story at Christmas', and many of his tales in this genre are presented here, including the bri..
Set in fictitious Coketown, England during the Industrial Revolution of the 1850s, Dickens wished to expose the enormous gulf between the rich and poor through his writing. In Hard Times, the social and moral purpose of his work is at its most evident. Openly ironic and satirical in its tone, Dickens suggests a mechanization of society, where the wealthy are ruthless and uncharitable towards tho..
Unusually for Dickens, Hard Times is set, not in London, but in the imaginary mid-Victorian Northern industrial town of Coketown with its blackened factories, downtrodden workers and polluted environment. This is the soulless domain of the strict utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind and the heartless factory owner Josiah Bounderby. However human joy is not excluded thanks to 'Mr Sleary's Horse-Riding' c..
Little Dorrit is a classic tale of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, while Dickens' working title for the novel, Nobody's Fault, highlights its concern with personal responsibility in private and public life. Dickens' childhood experiences inform the vivid scenes in Marshalsea debtor's prison, while his adult perceptions of governmental failures shape his satirical p..
Martin Chuzzlewit is Charles Dickens' comic masterpiece about which his biographer, Forster, noted that it marked a crucial phase in the author's development as he began to delve deeper into the 'springs of character'. Old Martin Chuzzlewit, tormented by the greed and selfishness of his family, effectively drives his grandson, young Martin, to undertake a voyage to America. It ..
Dickens's final novel, left unfinished at his death, is a tale of mystery whose fast-paced action takes place in an ancient cathedral city and in some of the darkest places in nineteenth-century London. Drugs, sexual obsession, colonial adventuring and puzzles about identity are among the novel's themes. At the centre of the plot lie the baffling disappearance of Edwin Drood and the many..
Following the success of Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby was hailed as a comic triumph and firmly established Dickens as a 'literary gentleman'. It has a full supporting cast of delectable characters that range from the iniquitous Wackford Squeers and his family, to the delightful Mrs Nickleby, taking in the eccentric Crummles and his travelling players, the Mantalinis, the K..
'Oliver Twist has asked for more!'
Fleeing the workhouse, Oliver finds himself taken under the wing of the Artful Dodger and caught up with a group of pickpockets in London. As he tries to free himself from their clutches he becomes immersed in the seedy underbelly of the Capital, amongst criminals, prostitutes and the homeless. Dickens scathing attack on the cruelness of Victorian Society fe..
Dickens had already achieved renown with The Pickwick Papers. With Oliver Twist his reputation was enhanced and strengthened. The novel contains many classic Dickensian themes - grinding poverty, desperation, fear, temptation and the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity. Oliver Twist features some of the author's most enduring characters, such as Oliver himself who dares to as..
Our Mutual Friend, Dickens' last complete novel, gives one of his most comprehensive and penetrating accounts of Victorian society. Its vision of a culture stifled by materialistic values emerges not just through its central narratives, but through its apparently incidental characters and scenes.
The chief of its several plots centres on John Harmon who returns to England as his father's heir..
The Pickwick Papers is Dickens' first novel and widely regarded as one of the major classics of comic writing in English. Originally serialised in monthly instalments, it quickly became a huge popular success with sales reaching 40,000 by the final part. In the century and a half since its first appearance, the characters of Mr Pickwick, Sam Weller and the whole of the Pickwickian crew have ente..