Hard Times

By Charles Dickens
Read by Frederick Davidson

11.48 Hours 01/01/1994 unabridged
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Originally written for Dickens’ weekly magazine, Household Words, this short novel follows the fate of Sissy Jupe, a warm-hearted circus child, and the family that adopts her. Deserted by her ailing father, Sissy is taken into the cold household of the Gradgrind family, which operates a school. The “eminently practical” Thomas Gradgrind believes only in facts and figures and has raised his children accordingly, thoroughly suppressing the imaginative sides of their nature. They grow up in ignorance of love and affection, of beauty and culture, or of empathy for others, and the consequences are devastating. Only after numerous crises does Thomas realize that his principles have corrupted their lives. Dickens’ satirical exposé of the Industrial Revolution condemns the utilitarianism that exploited the bodies, minds, and souls of the vulnerable labor class.

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Summary

Summary

Originally written for Dickens’ weekly magazine, Household Words, this short novel follows the fate of Sissy Jupe, a warm-hearted circus child, and the family that adopts her. Deserted by her ailing father, Sissy is taken into the cold household of the Gradgrind family, which operates a school. The “eminently practical” Thomas Gradgrind believes only in facts and figures and has raised his children accordingly, thoroughly suppressing the imaginative sides of their nature. They grow up in ignorance of love and affection, of beauty and culture, or of empathy for others, and the consequences are devastating. Only after numerous crises does Thomas realize that his principles have corrupted their lives.

Dickens’ satirical exposé of the Industrial Revolution condemns the utilitarianism that exploited the bodies, minds, and souls of the vulnerable labor class.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads.” William Makepeace Thackeray
“A bitter indictment of industrialization, with its dehumanizing effects on workers and communities in mid-nineteenth-century England.” Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
“The narrator’s British accent goes well with Dickens’ overly dramatic and lush prose.” AudioFile
“A wonderful introduction to the pleasures of Victorian novels and Dickens’ powerful story.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 11.48
Audience: Adult
Language: English