A sophisticated mystery, a love story and a tale of the corruptive power of wealth. This was Dickens' final complete novel and is a testament to his comic genius. When John Harmon returns to England to receive his inheritance he learns he can only claim it if he marries Bella Wilfer. To observe her more closely he takes on another identity and begins to work for her guardian, Mr Boffin. This darkly comic novel transports the reader from the murky world of London's scavengers to the social climbers seated at the Veneering's dinner table. Memorable villains and enchanting heroes people Dickens' final complete novel.
Our Mutual Friend, written in the years 1864-65, is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining savage satire with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, quoting from the character Bella Wilfer in the book, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life." (from wikipedia.org)
Even within the context of Charles Dickens's history as a publishing innovator, Our Mutual Friend is notable for what it reveals about Dickens as an author and about Victorian publishing. Marking Dickens's return to the monthly number format after nearly a decade of writing fiction designed for weekly publication in All the Year Round, Our Mutual Friend emerged against the backdrop of his failing health, troubled relationship with Ellen Ternan, and declining reputation among contemporary critics. In his subtly argued publishing history, Sean Grass shows how these difficulties combined to make Our Mutual Friend an extraordinarily odd novel, no less in its contents and unusually heavy revisions than in its marketing by Chapman and Hall, its transformation from a serial into British and U.S. book editions, its contemporary reception by readers and reviewers, and its delightfully uneven reputation among critics in the 150 years since Dickens's death. Enhanced by four appendices that offer contemporary accounts of the Staplehurst railway accident, information on archival materials, transcripts of all of the contemporary reviews, and a select bibliography of editions, Grass's book shows why this last of Dickens's finished novels continues to intrigue its readers and critics.
Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) Dickens’ last completed novel, has been critically praised as a profound and troubled masterpiece, and yet is has received far less scholarly attention than his other major works. This volume is the first book-length study of the novel. It explores every aspect of Dickens’ sustained imaginative involvement with his age. In particular its original research into hitherto neglected sources reveals not only Dickens’ reactions to the important developments during the 1860s in education, finance and the administration of poverty, but also his interest in phenomena as diverse as waste collection and the Shakespeare tercentenary. The Companion to Our Mutual Friend demonstrates the varied resources of artistry that inform the novel, and it provides the reader with a fundamental source of information about one of Dickens’ most complex works.
A satiric masterpiece about the allure and peril of money, Our Mutual Friend revolves around the inheritance of a dust-heap where the rich throw their trash. When the body of John Harmon, the dust-heap's expected heir, is found in the Thames, fortunes change hands surprisingly, raising to new heights "Noddy" Boffin, a low-born but kindly clerk who becomes "the Golden Dustman." Charles Dickens's last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend encompasses the great... (more)
With Appreciations and Criticisms By G. K. Chesterton
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
Charles Dickens's last completed novel, “Our Mutual Friend” is the story of “Noddy” Boffin, a common clerk who becomes “the Golden Dustman” after he inherits a dust-heap where the aristocracy throw their refuge. A brutal satire and social analysis, “Our Mutual Friend” is a masterpiece that explores the allure and curse of money while demonstrating all the themes the author is famous for. Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812–1870) was an English writer and social critic famous for having created some of the world's most well-known fictional characters. His works became unprecedentedly popular during his life, and today he is commonly regarded as the greatest Victorian-era novelist. Although perhaps better known for such works as “Oliver Twist” or “A Christmas Carol”, Dickens first gained success with the 1836 serial publication of “The Pickwick Papers”, which turned him almost overnight into an international literary celebrity thanks to his humour, satire, and astute observations concerning society and character. This classic work is being republished now in a new edition complete with an introductory chapter from “Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens” by G. K. Chesterton.
The New York Times said of Our Mutual Friend, the last novel completed by Dickens, that for most readers it would "be considered his best." While expressing all the humanism and humor of Dickens's early work, Our Mutual Friend is also the author's most modern novel and one of his most sophisticated. The book's themes include the search for identity, the extravagance of wealth, and the dispersal of self, but at the heart of the novel, as with all of Dickens's best works, are the characters. Both thoughtful and whimsical, and at times uproariously funny, this novel is a must for Dickens readers.
"In these times of ours," are the opening words of this book, which was published in England in 1864-65. The scene is laid in London and its immediate neighborhood. All the elaborate machinery dear to Dickens's heart is here introduced. There is the central story of Our Mutual Friend, himself the young heir to the vast Harmon estate, who buries his identity and assumes the name of John Rokesmith, that he may form his own judgment of the young woman whom he must marry in order to claim his fortune; there is the other story of the poor bargeman's daughter, and her love for reckless Eugene Wrayburn, the idol of society; and uniting these two threads is the history of Mr. and Mrs. Boffin, the ignorant, kindhearted couple, whose innocent ambitions, and benevolent use of the money intrusted to their care, afford the author opportunity for the humor and pathos of which he was a master. Among the characters which this story has made famous are Miss Jenny Wren, the doll's dressmaker, a little, crippled creature whose love for Lizzie Hexam transforms her miserable life; Bradley Headstone, the schoolmaster, suffering torments because of his jealousy of Eugene Wrayburn, and helpless under the careless contempt of that trained adversary- dying at last in an agony of defeat at his failure to kill Eugene; and the triumph of Lizzie's love over the social difference between her and her lover; Bella Wilfer, "the boofer lady," cured of her longing for riches and made John Harmon's happy wife by the plots and plans of the Golden Dustman .
Our Mutual Friend, written in the years 1864-65, is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining savage satire with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller (quoting from the character Bella Wilfer in the book), "money, money, money, and what money can make of life." In the opening chapters a body is found in the Thames and identified as that of John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society.
This eBook features the unabridged text of ‘Our Mutual Friend’ from the bestselling edition of ‘The Complete Works of Charles Dickens’. Having established their name as the leading publisher of classic literature and art, Delphi Classics produce publications that are individually crafted with superior formatting, while introducing many rare texts for the first time in digital print. The Delphi Classics edition of Dickens includes original annotations and illustrations relating to the life and works of the author, as well as individual tables of contents, allowing you to navigate eBooks quickly and easily. eBook features: * The complete unabridged text of ‘Our Mutual Friend’ * Beautifully illustrated with images related to Dickens’s works * Individual contents table, allowing easy navigation around the eBook * Excellent formatting of the textPlease visit www.delphiclassics.com to learn more about our wide range of titles
It is impossible to overstate the importance of British novelist CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) not only to literature in the English language, but to Western civilization on the whole. He is arguably the first fiction writer to have become an international celebrity. He popularized episodic fiction and the cliffhanger, which had a profound influence on the development of film and television. He is entirely responsible for the popular image of Victorian London that still lingers today, and his characters-from Oliver Twist to Ebenezer Scrooge, from Miss Havisham to Uriah Heep-have become not merely iconic, but mythic. But it was his stirring portraits of ordinary people-not the upper classes or the aristocracy-and his fervent cries for social, moral, and legal justice for the working poor, and in particular for poor children, in the grim early decades of the Industrial Revolution that powerfully impacted social concerns well into the 20th century. Without Charles Dickens, we may never have seen the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Upton Sinclair, or even Bob Dylan. Here, in 30 beautiful volumes-complete with all the original illustrations-is every published word written by one of the most important writers ever. The essential collector's set will delight anyone who cherishes English literature...and who takes pleasure in constantly rediscovering its joys. This volume contains Part I of Our Mutual Friend, Dickens's final novel, which was originally serialized in standalone installments in 1864-65. A satire on avarice and the power of money to influence human behavior, it is Dickens's most sophisticated work, and the fullest expression of the writer's authority and persuasiveness.
Even within the context of Charles Dickens's history as a publishing innovator, Our Mutual Friend is notable for what it reveals about Dickens as an author and about Victorian publishing. Marking Dickens's return to the monthly number format after nearly a decade of writing fiction designed for weekly publication in All the Year Round, Our Mutual Friend emerged against the backdrop of his failing health, troubled relationship with Ellen Ternan, and declining reputation among contemporary critics. In his subtly argued publishing history, Sean Grass shows how these difficulties combined to make Our Mutual Friend an extraordinarily odd novel, no less in its contents and unusually heavy revisions than in its marketing by Chapman and Hall, its transformation from a serial into British and U.S. book editions, its contemporary reception by readers and reviewers, and its delightfully uneven reputation among critics in the 150 years since Dickens’s death. Enhanced by four appendices that offer contemporary accounts of the Staplehurst railway accident, information on archival materials, transcripts of all of the contemporary reviews, and a select bibliography of editions, Grass’s book shows why this last of Dickens’s finished novels continues to intrigue its readers and critics.