'John Halifax, Gentleman' follows the fortunes of a poor orphan who is befriended by the narrator, Phineas Fletcher. He raises himself up from his humble beginnings, and the book reflects the changing conditions in England during the late 18th and early 19th century.
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John Halifax, Gentleman follows the fortunes of a poor orphan who is befriended by the narrator, Phineas Fletcher, the invalid son of a Quaker tanner in an English provincial town. He raises himself up from his humble beginnings, and the book reflects the changing conditions in England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, as the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class altered the social and political complexion of the country. Published in 1856, the book was immensely popular with contemporary readers. John Halifax, Gentleman was written by Dinah Craik (1826-1887), the daughter of a Nonconformist minister and his wife, who turned to writing when her father deserted his children following their mother’s death.From the Back Cover:
This 1856 novel, one of the most beloved of the Victorian period, follows the life, from childhood to death, of an orphaned boy who grows to become a wealthy and powerful leader in his community. The young John Halifax is taken in by Abel Fletcher, a Quaker tanner, and forms a close friendship with Fletcher’s son, Phineas. Through hard work and integrity, John overcomes obstacles to find domestic happiness and material success. His achievements symbolize those of England in the early nineteenth century, and this novel captures the ambition and ebullient optimism of the growing Victorian middle class.
This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and full annotation; the idea of the “gentleman” in Victorian culture, labour unrest in the early nineteenth century, and women’s roles in Victorian England are explored in the broad selection of contextual documents.
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