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Charles Dickens

  • About this Author
author spotlight

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city–cold, isolated with barely enough to eat–haunted him for the rest of his life.

When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) complete his major works.

Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day.

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American Notes

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook, 354 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: October 31, 2000
Price: $11.99

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Exam Copy
Barnaby Rudge

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Hardcover, 920 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: November 8, 2005
Price: $25.00

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... Read more >

Exam Copy
Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Trade Paperback, 880 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 3, 2012
Price: $10.00

One of Charles Dickens’s most critically admired novels, this story of a monumental and life-consuming court case features one of his most vast and varied casts of colorful characters.

In Bleak House, competing claims of love and inheritance—complicated by murder—have given rise to a costly and decades-long legal battle that one litigant... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens
Illustrated by H. K. Browne
Introduction by Mary Gaitskill


Format: Trade Paperback, 928 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: July 9, 2002
Price: $11.95

Widely regarded as Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House centers on the generations-long lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, through which “whole families have inherited legendary hatreds.” Focusing on Esther Summerson, a ward of John Jarndyce, the novel traces Esther’s romantic coming-of-age and, in classic Dickensian style, the gradual revelation of long-buried secrets, all set... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Hardcover, 1032 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: October 15, 1991
Price: $26.00

One of Charles Dickens’s most critically admired novels, this story of a monumental and life-consuming court case features one of his most vast and varied casts of colorful characters.

In Bleak House, competing claims of love and inheritance—complicated by murder—have given rise to a costly and decades-long legal battle that one litigant... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Paperback, 976 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: November 1, 1985
Price: $6.95

Bleak House, Dickens's most daring experiment in the narration of a complex plot, challenges the reader to make connections--between the fashionable and the outcast, the beautiful and the ugly, the powerful and the victim. Nowhere in Dickens's later novels is his attack on an uncaring society more imaginatively embodied, but nowhere... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook, 960 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 17, 2012
Price: $5.99

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Also available as an eBook, hardcover, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

Bleak House

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: October 31, 2006
Price: $5.99

Read more >
Also available as an eBook, hardcover, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
A Christmas Carol and Other Stories

Written by Charles Dickens
Introduction by John Irving


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: October 9, 2001
Price: $10.00

An immediate bestseller when it was first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol has endured ever since as a perennial Yuletide favorite. Charles Dickens's beloved tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill through a haunting Christmas Eve encounter with four... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books

Written by Charles Dickens
Introduction by Margaret Atwood


Format: Hardcover, 440 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: November 10, 2009
Price: $18.00

The final volume in the Everyman’s Library Charles Dickens collection: the timeless story of everyone’s favorite misanthrope, Ebenezer Scrooge, together with four more of Dickens’s Christmas tales and with Arthur Rackham’s classic illustrations.

No holiday season is complete without the story of tightfisted Mr. Scrooge, of his long-suffering and mild-mannered clerk, Bob... Read more >

Exam Copy
A Christmas Carol
And Other Christmas Books
Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Trade Paperback, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 29, 2011
Price: $8.00

No holiday season is complete without Charles Dickens’s timeless tale of redemption starring the tightfisted Mr. Scrooge, the long-suffering Bob Cratchit, kindhearted Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. But A Christmas Carol was only the first and most famous of Dickens’s holiday tales. In this edition... Read more >

Exam Copy
A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Hardcover, 180 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: September 27, 1994
Price: $15.95

"Bah Humbug!" That's how Ebeneezer Scrooge feels about Christmas—until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future decide to show the crotchety old miser the error of his ways. Together they travel through time, revisiting all the people who have played an important role in Scrooge's life. And as their journey... Read more >

Exam Copy
A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: November 1, 1986
Price: $3.95

A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and to come are as much a part of a traditional Christmas as mistletoe, carolers, and candlelight processions. Also included in this heartwarming... Read more >

A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook, 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 29, 2011
Price: $5.99

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A Christmas Carol

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: November 26, 2002
Price: $2.99

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Exam Copy
Cuentos de navidad

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Trade Paperback, 528 pages
Publisher: Vintage Espanol
On Sale: November 5, 2013
Price: $8.00

Se podría decir que Dickens inventó la Navidad, pues ningún otro escritor ha evocado con tanta maestría el espíritu, jubiloso y elegíaco a un tiempo, de ese periodo final del año. Además del célebre “Canción de Navidad”, se reúnen en este volumen –inspirado en la edición inglesa de 1852– otros cuatro... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Cuentos de navidad

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook, 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage Espanol
On Sale: November 5, 2013
Price: $7.99

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Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Trade Paperback, 880 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 10, 2012
Price: $10.00

Charles Dickens’s most famous novel was also his own favorite, and the one that drew most on his own life story.

David Copperfield is the classic account of a boy growing up in a world that is by turns magical, fearful, and grimly realistic. In a book that is part fairy tale... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens
Introduction by David Gates


Format: Trade Paperback, 896 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: November 28, 2000
Price: $8.95

Hugely admired by Tolstoy, David Copperfield is the novel that draws most closely from Charles Dickens's own life. Its eponymous hero, orphaned as a boy, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains. Praising Dickens's power of invention, Somerset Maugham wrote... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Hardcover, 1016 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: November 26, 1991
Price: $27.50

Charles Dickens’s most celebrated novel and the author’s own favorite, David Copperfield is the classic account of a boy growing up in a world that is by turns magical, fearful, and grimly realistic. In a book that is part fairy tale and part thinly veiled autobiography, Dickens transmutes his life experience... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, eBook, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: Paperback, 960 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: September 1, 1981
Price: $6.99

Of all Dickens's novels, David Copperfield most fervently embraces the comic delights, the tender warmth, the tragic horrors of childhood. It is our classic tale of growing up, an enchanting story of a gently orphan discovering life and love in an indifferent adult world. Persecuted by his wrathful stepfather, Mr. Murdstone... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, eBook, hardcover, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook, 928 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 17, 2012
Price: $5.99

Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: September 26, 2006
Price: $1.99

Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

David Copperfield

Written by Charles Dickens


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: October 31, 2000
Price: $7.99

Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook, hardcover, paperback, trade paperback and a trade paperback.

A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations (Bantam Classics Editions)

Written by Charles Dickens
Introduction by John Irving


Format: eBook, 976 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: December 9, 2010
Price: $5.99

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