Synopses & Reviews
Set partly in the United States, this novel includes a searing satire on mid-nineteenth-century America. Martin Chuzzlewit is the story of two Chuzzlewits, Martin and Jonas, who have inherited the characteristic Chuzzlewit selfishness. It contrasts their diverse fates: moral redemption and worldly success for one and increasingly desperate crime for the other. In her Introduction to this new edition, Patricia Ingham discusses how, in writing a story that was meant only to recommend "goodness and innocence", Dickens succeeded in exploring "the intertwining of moral sensibility and brutality".
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorneys clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.