Great Expectations and Hard Times A facsimile edition of "The Nonsuch Dickens"
Author: Charles Dickens (1812–1870) 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. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognized him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.
Publisher/Date: Overlook Press (c. 2005) This edition published in 2008. Facsimile edition of "The Nonsuch Dickens" published in 1937.
Format/Condition: New quarter-leather and linen cloth hardcover book with gilt lettering and a wrap around band in a clear acetate dust jacket in Fine condition. Ribbon bookmark. 766 pages. Dimensions: 7 x 10 1/4 x 1 3/4 inches. Illustrated endpapers. Illustrated with some black-and-white line drawings.
Description: Considered by many to be Dickens's masterpiece, "Great Expectations" (1861) tells the story of Pip, whose life becomes forever linked with that of an escaped convict whom he helps to escape one fateful night. Overwhelmed by Pip's kindness the convict, unbeknownst to Pip, vows to make a fortune to finance Pip's rise to the upper classes. When, after several years, the convict returns to Pip to secure his help to escape England, their lives once again intertwine with tragic consequences. The novel presents one of Dickens' most extreme caricatures in Miss Havisham, the wealthy dowager who wears only an old wedding dress and keeps all of her clocks stopped at the same time. Complications arise in Pip's love for the cold, but beautiful Estella, his misassumption that Miss Havisham is the mystery benefactor, and the tragic story of her broken heart and the men that influenced her life and her decision to raise Estella as a cold-hearted woman, full of contempt for men and for love.
In "Hard Times" (1854), Dickens questions the materialism of the 'Age of Machinery' in the scathing story of Thomas Gradgrind in the industrial nightmare of Coketown. Gradgrind teaches his children, Tom and Louisa, to stifle emotion and eschew frivolity and imagination, but unable to contain their natural instincts, Gradgrind is forced to accept the injustice of his philosophy, and the blame for their wasted lives.
The legendary "Nonesuch Dickens", issued in the 1930s, presented the writing of the foremost English novelist in its most distinguished format. Upon its original publication, the set was hailed as "one of the most glorious publishing achievements of our time." Now the peerless Nonesuch standards have been revived in new editions of Dickens most beloved works, introducing a new generation of readers to these masterpieces of literature, illustration and book design.