Hard Times (version 2), Locked Out and On Strike cover

Hard Times (version 2), Locked Out and On Strike

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

1. 1 April 1854 - Chapters 1-3
2. 8 April 1854 - Chapters 4-5
3. 15 April 1854 - Chapter 6
4. 22 April 1854 - Chapters 7-8
5. 29 April 1854 - Chapters 9-10
6. 6 May 1854 - Chapters11-12
7. 13 May 1854 - Chapters 13-14
8. 20 May 1854 - Chapters 15-16
9. 27 May 1854 - Chapter 17
10. 3 June 1854 - Chapters 18-19
11. 10 June 1854 - Chapters 20-21
12. 17 June 1854 - Chapter 22
13. 24 June 1854 - Chapter 23
14. 1 July 1854 - Chapter 24
15. 8 July 1854 - Chapters 25-26
16. 15 July 1854 - Chapters 27-28
17. 22 July 1854 - Chapters 29-30
18. 29 July 1854 - Chapters 31-32
19. 5 August 1854 - Chapters 33-34
20. 12 August 1854 - Chapters 35-36
21. Locked Out
22. On Strike

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Genres

    Summary

    Hard Times was Dickens's shortest novel and the only one to be set in the industrial north of England. A fast moving story with a typical cast of larger than life characters, the novel is a vehicle for a humanist critique of both utilitarian education ('Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts', says Mr. Gradgrind in the opening paragraph) and the mutual antagonism between capital and the trade union. A humanist education system, it turns out, is Dickens's solution to the class struggle. Hard Times is set in the fictional Coketown and was partly inspired by a visit to Preston during the factory lockout that brought the town's industry to a standstill in 1853. This version is read as it appeared in 20 issues of Dickens's weekly Household Words from April to August 1854. It is followed by two earlier articles - Locked Out and On Strike - that describe Dickens' visit to Preston and do much to clarify his thinking on education and class conflict.