Dickens' own favorite and the most auto-biographical of all his works. Features the best known characters in all of Dickens' literature including Mr. Micawber and Uriah Heep. Traces the journey of the title character from his childhood to his eventual marriage and his achieving happiness through his union with Agnes.
Along with A Christmas Carol, these are the other 4 novels called the Christmas books of Dickens.
The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain
Unlike most of Dickens' novels, this short work is set away from London. Story revolves around Thomas Gradgrind, a retired merchant and his children Tom and Louisa and Sissy Jupe.
Plot is essentially the estrangement and reconciliation of Paul and his daughter Florence despite what the title seems to suggest.
Dombey and Son
About a doting brother who has to take care of his mother and sister after their fortunes take a downturn. In this novel we meet the despicable one-eyed schoolmaster Wackford Squeers of Dotheboys Hall. The titular character has to overcome the machinations of his uncle Ralph as well and ultimately succeeds in restoring his family's fortunes in Devonshire.
The title character is raised by his grandfather, his namesake. In this novel we meet the villains Seth Pecksniff, the architect and the murderer Jonas. The title character also visits America with his friend Mark Tapley. All ends well when he marries his childhood friend Mary Graham.
One of Dickens' most complex novels, the plot is steeped in legalese and around the Jarndyce and Jarndyce court case. Esther Summerson, the heroine, is the only female narrator in all of Dickens' novels.
Novel that tells the tragic story of the ingenue Nell Trent and her grandfather. They are pursued by the evil moneylender Daniel Quilp after they are booted out of their establishment. Though the villain gets his just deserts, it comes too late for Nell. The novel has been criticized by several including Oscar Wilde.
The Old Curiosity Shop
A perennial favorite of the holiday season and a universal favorite that has been adapted multiple times. The main character, who transforms into a good citizen thanks to some ghosts, has come to symbolize skinflints. "God bless us, everyone!"
A Christmas Carol
Concerns a poor orphan who "wants more" and experiences life with pick-pockets on the streets before being rescued by Mr. Brownlow and finding happiness. Robert Blincoe, whose hardships as a child labourer were widely read in the 1830s might have been the basis of this novel. Has seen multiple adaptations including a Oscar-winning 1968 movie.
Among the most popular works of historical fiction that opens with a bombastic passage. Ends with the martyrdom of the main character at the hands of guillotine.
A Tale of Two Cities
Novel that revolves around debtors' prisons and their impact on people's lives. William's daughter Amy is the title character who ends up marrying Arthur Clennam into happiness.
Dickens' first attempt at writing a historical novel that is set during the real-life Gordon Riots. The title character is a simpleton who has a raven named Grip. While the novel is not highly regarded, Grip inspired Poe to write his famous poem.
Dickens' first novel in which a certain Mr. Samuel establishes a club to investigate life itself. Written in an episodic nature, it has him and three of the members of his club, Mr. Nathaniel Winkle, Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr. Tracy Tupman journeying to all parts of England. The popular Sam Weller is introduced in the later chapters.
The Pickwick Papers
Called by Dickens' as his best work, this novel traces the rise, fall and rise of Pip, who finds eventual happiness with Estella. We meet the unforgettable Miss Havisham who spends her days in the bleak Satis House.
John Harmon, the inheritor of a fortune, is presumably dead. Turns out that he is disguise as Julius Handford to know more about Bella Wilfer, whom he marries in the end. He is aided by the Boffin couple.
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