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Nicholas Nickleby (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – February 15, 2009
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About the Author
Paul Schlicke, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Aberdeen, was President of the Dickens Society in 1994. He is an internationally renowned Dickens scholar.
Top Customer Reviews
The social axe that Dickens had to grind in this story is man's injustice to children. Modern readers my feel that his depiction of Dotheboys Academy is too melodramatic. Alas, unfortunately, it was all too real. Charles Dickens helped create a world where we can't believe that such things happen. Dickens even tell us in an introduction that several Yorkshire schoolmasters were sure that Wackford Squeers was based on them and threatened legal action.
The plot of Nicholas Nickleby is a miracle of invention. It is nothing more than a series of adventures, in which Nicholas tries to make his way in the world, separate himself from his evil uncle, and try to provide for his mother and sister.
There are no unintersting characters in Dickens. Each one is almost a charicature. This book contains some of his funniest characters.
To say this is a melodrama is not an insult. This is melodrama at its best. Its a long book, but a fast read.
This Yorkshire school, called Dotheboys Hall, turns out to be little more than a prison in the way it is run by its headmaster, an improbably cruel cyclops named Wackford Squeers who badly mistreats and miseducates the students. Now, historical records indicate that while Squeers may be an exaggeration, his school is definitely not, Dickens intending to warn his readers of the day that some such places were indeed that bad. The duration at Dotheboys Hall constitutes only a small portion of the novel, but Squeers and his grotesque family reappear throughout the rest of the story like gremlins who are always causing bad things to happen to our hero.Read more ›
Through the years since high school, I have begun to read Dickens of my own free will, and have greatly enjoyed his works.
Nicholas Nickelby, one of my all time favorites, is a wonderful novel, typical Dickens, chock full of characters, plots, satire, and story. Nicholas and his immediate family are the 'black sheep' of the Nickelby name. Humble, gentle, and common in the eyes of their well-to-do relative, Uncle Ralph Nickelby, who denounces Nicholas as a boy, and man, who will never amount to anything.
In typical Dickens fashion, Nicholas encounters adversity first at a boarding school, then in society, as he forges a name for himself. Along the way he befriends many, enrages some, and invokes the wrath of his Uncle Ralph, determined to prove himself right in bemoaning the shortcomings of his nephew.
One point of interest in this novel for me is the major revelation that comes toward the end involving the character of Smike. Throughout the novel he is loveable, pitiable, and utterly realistic, and his significance to the life of Nicholas, as revealed in the final chapters, is a true plot twist, and a charming, if not bittersweet, realization.
For anyone forced to read Dickens early in life, if you appreciate quality satire and an engaging look at the London society of more than 125 years ago, visit this novel sometime, it is one of Dicken's finest.
The text is set in Martin's Type and the illustrations from the original steel plates are by A. Alexander and Sons Ltd. This is a beautiful and affordable classic [I own six of them and plan to get the rest] and the Nonesuch Dickens Classics will complement any collector's bookshelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had long waited to this book but was somewhat disappointed. The tale starts off well enough but at some point the story meanders and introduces characters I never found... Read morePublished 3 months ago by A. 1stFan
This is a good classic story that all should read. I highly recommend. I mean, it's Charles Dickens. What else can you expect?Published 3 months ago by Cindy Lyles
Another of Charles Dickens triumphs. Highly recommend that all young people should read this classic of literature. It was suspenseful and enjoyable with a happy ending.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Astute social commentary, wonderful satire and sometimes clever comic relief. An engrossing read.Published 4 months ago by Robby Wright
This is not a comment on Dickens's writing. This is a comment on this Premium Kindle edition. I have been reading a lot of Dickens over the past few years. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Avid Proustian
This is in reference to the illustrated Ocean Publishing House edition for Kindle only, and not to the Dickens story contained therein. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lynn
Dickens never disappoints. Instead, he elevates. I LOVE his vocabulary and that he challenges the mind while he entertains. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Megan S. Stevens