'The novel has everything: an absorbing melodrama, with a supporting cast of heroes, villains and eccentrics, set in a London where vast wealth and desperate poverty live cheek-by-jowl' Jasper Rees, The Times
When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father's death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas, the pretentious Mantalinis and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummels and their daughter, the 'infant phenomenon'. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, whose loose, haphazard progress harks back to the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding. In his introduction Mark Ford compares Nicholas Nickleby to eighteenth-century picaresque novels, and examines Dickens's criticism of the 'Yorkshire schools', his social satire and use of language. This edition includes the original illustrations by 'Phiz', Dickens's original preface to the work, a chronology and a list of further reading.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Hodder Headline Audiobooks presents abridged readings of some of the finest in drama, classic literature, popular fiction, poetry, children¹s stories, and religious and inspirational works. Among Hodder Headline¹s outstanding cast of readers and performers are Kenneth Branagh, Juliet Stevenson, Simon Callow, Stephen Fry, and Dame Judi Dench. Each set of cassettes is beautifully packaged and shrink-wrapped.From the Back Cover:
Charles Dickens had an understanding of mid-Victorian society second to none, and genius and energy massive enough to make the absurdities and terrors of that society come alive on the page. Nicholas Nickleby, with its episodes of chicanery in finance and education, and the dramatic intensity with which it tells the story of its open-hearted protagonists - a young brother and sister at sea in a dangerous world - and its frightening villain, the magnificently rendered Ralph Nickleby, represents Dickens at his clear-eyed, indignant and mesmerizing best.
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