Synopses & Reviews
Dickens's great novel of social protest in 19th-century England Thomas Gradgrind, a wealthy, retired merchant, is a cold and industrious man obsessed with facts, statistics, and practicality. He raises his oldest children, Louisa and Tom, according to this philosophy, never allowing them to engage in what he considers to be fanciful pursuits. But when poor Louisa is forced into a loveless marriage to the much older, self-made Josiah Bounderby, she and Tom must risk anger, betrayal, and heartache to break free of their restricted lives and find the happiness they have been so long denied.
Reason, Facts, and statistics...
Dickensa scathing portrait of Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy, Hard Times features schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind, one of his most richly dimensional, memorable characters. Filled with the details and wonders of small-town life, it is also a daring novel of ideasaand ultimately, a celebration of love, hope, and limitless possibilities of the imagination.
“Facts alone are wanted in life.” The children at Mr. Gradgrinds school are sternly ordered to stifle their imaginations and pay attention only to cold, hard reality. The effects of Gradgrinds teaching on his own children, Tom and Louisa, are particularly profound and leave them ill-equipped to deal with the unpredictable desires of the human heart. Luckily for them, they have a friend in Sissy Jupe, the child of a circus clown, who retains her warm-hearted, compassionate nature despite the pressures around her.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Charles Dickens (18121870) is considered one of the English language's greatest writers. Peter Ackroyds biography Dickens was published in 1990 to enormous critical acclaim. His other titles include London: A Biography, Poe: A Life Cut Short, Shakespeare: The Biography, and Thames: The Biography.