Dickens exposes the corrupting power of money in his last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend, with its expansive cast of characters and interweaving plots.
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 Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and original illustrations by Marcus Stone.
John Harmon made his fortune collecting ‘dust’. 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?
Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and anti-Catholic mobs rampage through the streets. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and private horror, its strange secrets and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a powerful, disturbing blend of historical realism and Gothic melodrama.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by John Bowen
-Table of contents to every chapters in the book.
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Master Humphrey's Clock was a weekly periodical edited and written entirely by Charles Dickens and published from April 4, 1840 to December 4, 1841. It began with a frame story in which Master Humphrey tells about himself and his small circle of friends (which includes Mr. Pickwick), and their penchant for telling stories. Several short stories were included, followed by the novels The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge. It is generally thought that Dickens originally intended The Old Curiosity Shop as a short story like the others that had appeared in Master Humphrey's Clock, but after a few chapters decided to extend it into a novel. Master Humphrey appears as the first-person narrator in the first three chapters of The Old Curiosity Shop but then disappears, stating, "And now that I have carried this history so far in my own character and introduced these personages to the reader, I shall for the convenience of the narrative detach myself from its further course, and leave those who have prominent and necessary parts in it to speak and act for themselves."
Master Humphrey is a lonely man who lives in London. He keeps old manuscripts in an antique longcase clock by the chimney-corner. One day, he decides that he would start a little club, called Master Humphrey's Clock, where the members would read out their manuscripts to the others. The members include Master Humphrey; a deaf gentleman, Jack Redburn; retired merchant Owen Miles; and Mr. Pickwick from The Pickwick Papers. A mirror club in the kitchen, Mr. Weller's Watch, run by Mr. Weller, has members including Humphrey's maid, the barber and Sam Weller.
Master Humphrey's Clock appeared after The Old Curiosity Shop, to introduce Barnaby Rudge. After Barnaby Rudge, Master Humphrey is left by himself by the chimney corner in a train of thoughts. Here, the deaf gentleman continues the narration. Later, the deaf gentleman and his friends return to Humphrey's house to find him dead. Humphrey has left money for the barber and the maid (no doubt by traces of love that they would be married). Redburn and the deaf gentleman look after the house and the club closes for good.
In the portion of Master Humphrey's Clock which succeeds The Old Curiosity Shop, Master Humphrey reveals to his friends that he is in fact the character referred to as the 'single gentleman' in that story.