When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal.
'Jarndyce and Jardyce' is an infamous lawsuit that has been in process for generations. Nobody can remember exactly how the case started but many different individuals have found their fortunes caught up in it. Esther Summerson watches as her friends and neighbours are consumed by their hopes and disappointments with the proceedings.
Pip's life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.
Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.' The children at Mr Gradgrind's school are sternly ordered to stifle their imaginations and pay attention only to cold, hard reality. They live in a smoky, troubled industrial town so entertainment is hard to come by and resentments run deep. The effects of Gradgrind's teaching on his own children, Tom and Louisa, are particularly profound and leave them ill-equipped to deal with the unpredictable desires of the human heart. Luckily for them they have a friend in Sissy Jupe, the child of a circus clown, who retains her warm-hearted, compassionate nature despite the pressures around her.
Also in the Vintage Classics Dickens Series:
/> A Christmas Carol A Tale of Two Cities David Copperfield Great Expectations Oliver Twist
Lucie Manette has been separated from her father for eighteen years while he languished in Paris' most feared prison, the Bastille. Finally reunited, the Manettes' fortunes become inextricably intertwined with those of two men, the heroic aristocrat Darnay and the dissolute lawyer Carton.
Paul Dombey is an ambitious, calculating London merchant. He pins all his hopes for the future of his shipping firm on his fragile son whilst his daughter, Florence, goes unnoticed and neglected. It is only when the firm faces ruin, and Dombey is staring at a life of desolate solitude that Florence may finally be valued.
Amy Dorrit was born in the Marshalsea debtors' prison and has lived there with her family for all of her twenty-two years, only leaving during the day to work as a seamstress for the forbidding Mrs Clennam. The arrival of Mrs Clennam's son Arthur heralds the beginning of stunning revelations not just about Amy but also about Arthur himself.
Barnaby Rudge is a young innocent simpleton who is devoted to his talkative raven, Grip. When he gets caught up in the mayhem of the Gordon riots and a mysterious unsolved murder, his life is put in jeopardy.
Wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit is surrounded by a host of grasping, unscrupulous relatives and suspects the family vices of selfishness and greed are already showing in his grandson. The younger Martin is therefore cast out upon the world to learn to fend for himself.
When Nicholas's father dies he, his mother and sister, Kate, are left penniless. To earn his keep, Nicholas becomes a tutor at Dotheboys Hall but soon discovers that the headmaster, Wackford Squeers, is one eyed tyrant who insists on a harsh regime. Nicholas embarks on an adventure that takes him from loathsome boarding schools to the London stage. Dickens confronts issues of neglect and cruelty in this blackly comic masterpiece.
After John Harmon is murdered on his way to marry Bella Wilfer and receive a large inheritance, his father's assistant, Nicodemus Boffin, becomes the new heir and adopts Bella, who evokes an uncommon interest from Boffin's assistant.
Gentle Nell Trent lives a simple, if solitary life with her doting grandfather in his curiosity shop. Her parents died in poverty and unbeknownst to Nell her grandfather is obsessed with winning her an inheritance through gambling, but is forced to borrow heavily from malicious money-lender Quilp.
Oliver is an orphan living on the dangerous London streets with no one but himself to rely on. Fleeing from poverty and hardship, he falls in with a criminal street gang who will not let him go. Dickens graphically conjures up the capital's underworld, thieves and lost and homeless children, and gives a voice to the disadvantaged and abused.
When young Edwin Drood disappears after dinner on Christmas Eve and his watch and chain are later found in the nearby river, everyone suspects foul play. Could one of Edwin's acquaintances have murdered him - and, if so, what could their motive be? And how does this shocking event in a quiet cathedral town connect to the opium dens of London?