Top 10 Best Charles Dickens Books

Best Charles Dickens Books: Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.

Best Charles Dickens Books

by Charles Dickens

The FLAME TREE COLLECTABLE CLASSICS are chosen to create a delightful and timeless home library. Each stunning edition features deluxe cover treatments, ribbon markers, luxury endpapers and gilded edges. The unabridged text is accompanied by a Glossary of Victorian and Literary terms produced for the modern reader.
 
Dicken’s first novel began as a romp, a series of amusing observations based on the travels of Mr Pickwick and his friends Nathaniel Winkle, Augustus Snodgrass, Tracy Tupman and valet Sam Weller. Their adventures increasingly highlight hypocrisy and avarice in the  lives of everyday folk, beset by the doubtful actions of lawyers, politicians and local dignitaries. The reprehensible Alfred Jingle is often encountered in bizarre and awkward scenes, a lightning rod for the ills in society where marriage is not always accompanied by love, the victim not the guilty are imprisoned, and the poor are treated with barely concealed contempt. Pickwick’s jovial stature allows Dickens a light touch on his social commentary and Pickwick Papers remains one of his most popular books. 

by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist, subtitled The Parish Boy’s Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Naïvely unaware of their unlawful activities, Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin. Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens’s unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives. The book exposed the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London during the Dickensian era. The book’s subtitle, The Parish Boy’s Progress, alludes to Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and also to a pair of popular 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, A Rake’s Progress and A Harlot’s Progress. An early example of the social novel, the book calls the public’s attention to various contemporary evils, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. Dickens mocks the hypocrisies of his time by surrounding the novel’s serious themes with sarcasm and dark humour. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of hardships as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens’s own early youth as a child labourer contributed to the story’s development.

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by Charles Dickens

At the court of Chancery the inheritance case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been going on for generations, but a new piece of evidence might end it once and for all.

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an afterword by David Stuart Davies and original illustrations by H.K. Browne.

The interminable lawsuit encompasses so many diverse characters in its thrall, including Esther Summerson, the heroine of the novel and one of Dickens’ more feisty and characterful leading ladies. We are drawn in and fascinated by the complex set of relationships at all levels of society, from Sir Leicester and Lady Dedlock, cocooned in their stately home in Lincolnshire, to Jo, the crossing sweeper in the hell hole known as Tom-All-Alone’s. In none of Charles Dickens’ other novels is the canvas broader, the sweep more inclusive, the linguistic texture richer and the gallery of comic grotesques more extraordinary. Bleak House is not only a love story and a tightly plotted murder mystery, but also a condemnation of the corruption at the heart of English society.

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’s thirteenth novel and his penultimate (completed) novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens’s second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens’s weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes. It is set among marshes in Kent, and in London, in the early to mid-1800s, and contains some of Dickens’ most memorable scenes, including the opening, in a graveyard, where the young Pip is accosted by the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. Great Expectations is full of extreme imagery – poverty; prison ships and chains, and fights to the death – and has a colourful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. These include the eccentric Miss Havisham, the cold and beautiful Estella, and Joe, the kind and generous blacksmith. Dickens’s themes include wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. Great Expectations is popular both with readers and literary critics, and has been translated into many languages, and adapted numerous times into various media. Upon its release, Thomas Carlyle spoke disparagingly of “all that Pip’s nonsense”. Later, George Bernard Shaw praised the novel, as “All of one piece and consistently truthfull.” Dickens felt Great Expectations was his best work, calling it “a very fine, new and grotesque idea”.

by Charles Dickens

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

by Charles Dickens

Introduction and Notes by Dr Adrienne Gavin, Canterbury Christ Church University College Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz) Dickens wrote of David Copperfield: ‘Of all my books I like this the best’. Millions of readers in almost every language on earth have subsequently come to share the author’s own enthusiasm for this greatly loved classic, possibly because of its autobiographical form. Following the life of David through many sufferings and great adversity, the reader will also find many light-hearted moments in the company of a host of English fiction’s greatest stars including Mr Micawber, Traddles, Uriah Heep, Creakle, Betsy Trotwood, and the Peggoty family.

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

by Charles Dickens

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

by Charles Dickens

Novel by Charles Dickens, published both serially and in book form in 1859. The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle’s history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton’s sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess–the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine. The book is perhaps best known for its opening lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and for Carton’s last speech, in which he says of his replacing Darnay in a prison cell, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” — The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

Our Mutual Friend

by Charles Dickens

A dead body is dredged from the Thames, presumed to be the son of wealthy miser John Harmon, in Dickens’ final novel, Our Mutual Friend.

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an introduction by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and original illustrations by Marcus Stone.

John Harmon made his fortune collecting ‘dust’, and on his death his estranged son is due to inherit his wealth on the condition that he marry Bella Wilfer, a young woman who he has never even met. But when his son is presumed dead, John’s riches pass to his servants Mr and Mrs Boffin and they in turn take Bella into their own home. They hire a secretive young man, John Rokesmith, to be Mr Boffin’s secretary – but what is this man’s real identity and what is his interest in Bella?

In his last complete novel with its expansive cast of characters and interweaving plots, Dickens exposes the corrupting power of money.

by Charles Dickens

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been proofread and republished using a format that seamlessly blends the original graphical elements with text in an easy-to-read typeface.

We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843; the first edition was illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

The Old Curiosity Shop

by Charles Dickens

The Old Curiosity Shop follows the life of Nell Trent and her grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London. It was one of two novels (the other being Barnaby Rudge) which Dickens published along with short stories in his weekly serial Master Humphrey’s Clock, which lasted from 1840 to 1841.

 

The Old Curiosity Shop was so popular that New York readers stormed the wharf when the ship bearing the final installment arrived in 1841, shouting to arriving sailors (who might have already read the final chapters in the United Kingdom), “Is Little Nell alive?”

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The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

by Charles Dickens

Redlaw is a teacher of chemistry who often broods over wrongs done him and grief from his past.

He is haunted by a spirit, who is not so much a ghost as Redlaw’s phantom twin and is “an awful likeness of himself…with his features, and his bright eyes, and his grizzled hair, and dressed in the gloomy shadow of his dress…” This spectre appears and proposes to Redlaw that he can allow him to “forget the sorrow, wrong, and trouble you have known…to cancel their remembrance…” Redlaw is hesitant at first, but finally agrees.

As a consequence of the ghost’s intervention, Redlaw is without memories of the painful incidents from his past. He experiences a universal anger that he cannot explain. His bitterness spreads to the Swidgers, the Tetterbys and his student. All become as wrathful as Redlaw himself. The only one who is able to avoid the bitterness is Milly.

With this realization, the novel concludes with everyone back to normal and Redlaw, like Ebenezer Scrooge, a changed, more loving man. Now a whole person, Redlaw learns to be humble at Christmas.

Dombey and Son

by Charles Dickens

To Paul Dombey, business is all and money can do anything. He runs his family life as he runs his firm: coldly, calculatingly and commercially. The only person he cares for is his frail son, grooming him for entry into the family business; his daughter Florence, abandoned and ignored, craves affection from her unloving father, who sees her only as a ‘base coin that couldn’t be invested’. As Dombey’s callousness extends to others – from his defiant second wife Edith, to Florence’s admirer Walter Gay – he sows the seeds of his own destruction. Can this heartless businessman be redeemed? A compelling depiction of a man imprisoned by his own pride, Dombey and Son explores the devastating effects of emotional deprivation on a dysfunctional family and on society as a whole. In his introduction, Andrew Sanders discusses the character of Paul Dombey, business and family relationships in Dombey and Son and their similarities to Dickens’s own childhood. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading, appendices, notes and the original illustrations by ‘Phiz’.

Barnaby Rudge

by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’s first historical novel–set during the anti-Catholic riots of 1780–is an unparalleled portrayal of the terror of a rampaging mob, seen through the eyes of the individuals swept up in the chaos.

Those individuals include Emma, a Catholic, and Edward, a Protestant, whose forbidden love weaves through the heart of the story; and the simpleminded Barnaby, one of the riot leaders, whose fate is tied to a mysterious murder and whose beloved pet raven, Grip, embodies the mystical power of innocence. The story encompasses both the rarified aristocratic world and the volatile streets and nightmarish underbelly of London, which Dickens characteristically portrays in vivid, pulsating detail. But the real focus of the book is on the riots themselves, depicted with an extraordinary energy and redolent of the dangers, the mindlessness, and the possibilities–both beneficial and brutal–of the mob.