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Hard Times: Premium Edition (Unabridged, Illustrated, Table of Contents) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Dickens , Harry French
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is the BEST version of Hard Times available for your Kindle. This edition is unabridged and includes the original illustrations from the first publication of this work, by artist Harry French. In addition, this ebook has been meticulously proofed for formatting errors and includes a working Table of Contents with selectable links. Finally, this edition is DRM-free for your convenience.

Don't believe this is the best Kindle edition of Hard Times? Download a free sample for yourself and compare it against samples of other Kindle editions: THIS IS THE BEST VERSION available for your Kindle. Don't settle for a version with spelling errors, missing punctuation, bad formatting and no illustrations! Get the best! Satisfaction guaranteed!

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Information about this title:

Hard Times - For These Times (commonly known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times.

The Utilitarians were one of the targets of this novel. Utilitarianism was a prevalent school of thought during this period, its most famous proponents being Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Theoretical Utilitarian ethics hold that promotion of general social welfare is the ultimate goal for the individual and society in general: "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people." Dickens believed that in practical terms, the pursuit of a totally rationalized society could lead to great misery.

Dickens was appalled by what was, in his interpretation, a selfish philosophy, which was combined with materialist laissez-faire capitalism in the education of some children at the time, as well as in industrial practices. In Dickens' interpretation, the prevalence of utilitarian values in educational institutions promoted contempt between mill owners and workers, creating young adults whose imaginations had been neglected, due to an over-emphasis on facts at the expense of more imaginative pursuits.

Dickens wished to satirize radical Utilitarians whom he described in a letter to Charles Knight as "see[ing] figures and averages, and nothing else." He also wished to campaign for reform of working conditions. Dickens had visited factories in Manchester as early as 1839, and was appalled by the environment in which workers toiled. Drawing upon his own childhood experiences, Dickens resolved to "strike the heaviest blow in my power" for those who laboured in horrific conditions.


Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-12-Dickens' satire on the Victorian family and the philosophies of a society which sought to turn men into machines.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review


"This is a work indispensable for a discussion of the reflection of the process of industrialization in European Realism as well as the question of education. A superb social commentary on the times."--Sven H. Rossel, University of Washington


"Nicely printed, but inexpensive, clear edition--what I'm looking for."--Dr. Dolores Luhr, La Salle University



Product Details

  • File Size: 2229 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1450516904
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HO5TOW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,438 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Facts March 30, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I initially lamented the fact that Hard Times was assigned to me in my British lit. class. I had read some of Dickens's melodramas like A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist and enjoyed them, but everything I heard about Hard Times said this was nothing like those. This was supposedly just strictly social commentary. My interpretation of that: BORING.
But then I read it.
Hard Times isn't like Dickens's other novels, but I don't think that it has any less heart than those masterpieces. In fact, Dickens endured himself much further to me with this novel as he has his characters perform Thomas Carlyle's enduring philosophy.
The novel follows the Gradgrind family who is raised adhering to FACTS and living in a society which worships the manufacturing machine. As the novel progresses, connections are made and broken, and the characters come to the realization that there is much more to reality than the material facts.
Hard Times is told so compassionately. The reader cares for these people and their tragic lives. The story is also told with biting humor that still cuts at today's society (this novel feels really modern), and the underlying philosophy is one which is so needed in our post-modern world. I would certainly recommend this novel to fans of Dickens and to fans of the truly literary novel.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardly a masterpiece, but brilliant at times February 20, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Hard Times" belongs to the second half of Dickens's writing career, in which his work becomes rather more somber and, by common critical assent, more mature and satisfying. Personally, I prefer his earlier work and his very first novel, "Pickwick Papers", is to my mind his greatest. Surprisingly, "Hard Times", despite its title and reputation, contains some brilliant flashes of Dickens humour, especially in the earlier part. The descriptions of Bounderby and Gradgrind, and the early dialogue with the circus folk, are genuinely hilarious.

This is Dickens's shortest novel, about a third of the length of each of his previous four. Themes, subplots and characters are introduced without being fully explored. The author was perhaps feeling the constraints of writing in installments for a periodical, although he was well used to doing that. This relative brevity, together with the youth of some of the central characters, make this book a good introduction to Dickens for young readers.

There are the large dollops of Victorian melodrama and the reliance on unlikely coincidences that mar much of Dickens's work. Also the usual tendency for characters to become caricatures and to have names that are a little too apt (a teacher called Mr. McChoakumchild?).

The respected critic F.R. Leavis considered "Hard Times" to be Dickens's masterpiece and "only serious work of art". This seems to me wildly wrong, but such an extreme opinion may prompt you to read the book, just so that you can form your own opinion.

I read it because I had just finished "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair, which deals with the plight of Chicago factory workers, and I wanted to compare the two. Sinclair's book has greater immediacy. It takes you much closer to the suffering of the workers.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Arguably, Dickens could be classified as the greatest of all English speaking novelists...of all times. There are very few writers that can offer his consistency, novel after novel, story after story. Yes, many have written works that perhaps equal any of his given works, but few if any have been able to turn out such a volume of pure quality. Very, very few authors have had such a large portion of their work pass the test of time. Dickens gains new readers year in and year out and there is a reason for this!

Over the past 50 or so years I have heard this particular work referred to as "not Dickens' best," and "A minor work by Dickens," and other comments along those lines. I am really not in a position, nor do I have the ability to proclaim or rank this author's work one way or the other. Dickens for me is like any other author...I either like it or I do not like it; it either is a joy to read or it is not. Now I have read this short novel at least five times over the years and listen to several versions on CD and Tape. The best, minor Dickens' work, timeless classic, not pertinent in today's world, a mere political rant? Well I don't know. I do know that it is one of my favorites and do look forwarded to reading it again down the road. I am one of those horrid and probably misguided individuals who sort of make their own mind up about anything I read, and more or less ignore the pontifications of those that are suppose to know about such things. All that being said though, I cannot look you in the eye and state that I have ever read one story; one word by this author that I did not enjoy right down to the tip of my toes. He delights me.

The setting of course is in Victorian England and the Industrial Revolution is in full tilt.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Characters From Dickens May 2, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Hard Times" is a minor Charles Dickens classic. Like all Charles Dickens' novels it features some great, memorable characters. The setting of the industrial city of Coketown is vividly described as a miserable, polluted town. There are some strong themes of class struggles between the working men in the factories and the harsh upper classes who seek to exploit them. Nearly all of the upper class characters are depicted in a negative light while the real heroes of the story are from the working class. As always, Dickens finds an entertaining way to shine a bright light on the social problems of Victorian-era England. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it. However, if you are choosing your first introduction to Charles Dickens, then you should pick one of his better-known novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars But it does get better.
Too heavy-handed, especially in the beginning. But it does get better.
Published 3 days ago by Philip Blitz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good, classic story. The font aids immeasurably in inducing sleep.
Published 9 days ago by jb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
College required book
Published 13 days ago by Sis Cicero
3.0 out of 5 stars A good price, but the serious type-o confused my poor ...
A good price, but the serious type-o confused my poor 9th graders--Chapter IX was printed as "IV"! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Therese Frerichs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great price!
Published 2 months ago by Shelley Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this
Needed this book for a college class and I was able to find it for a more affordable price than the college offered. Very happy with this.
Published 3 months ago by Wolfie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Purchased for college class
Published 3 months ago by Sue Sisco
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very useful edition for students and teachers
Published 3 months ago by J. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars In this day of Common Core and giving meaningless grades ...
In this day of Common Core and giving meaningless grades of P on elementary students' report cards, educators and parents would do well to reread this Dickens' classic.
Published 4 months ago by flo wolfe
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought we owned this but couldn't find it.
On my sons high school reading list! We will add it to the library.
Published 4 months ago by Tin Sign Man
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More About the Author

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, 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 attorney's 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.


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