"I love Dickens but I'm particularly fond of Nicholas Nickleby... It's one of those books I can just read and reread."
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 a 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.
About the Author
CHARLES DICKENS was born in Landport in Portsmouth on February 7, 1812. Sent to work in a blacking factory at the age of twelve, after his Navy Pay Office clerk father was imprisoned for debt, Dickens's memories of this unhappy period haunted him throughout his life and influenced much of his writing. After stints as a clerk and a shorthand reporter in the law courts, Dickens became a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle until the huge success of his first books enabled him to become a full-time author. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished.
Praise for Nicholas Nickleby…
"The novel has everything: an absorbing melodrama, with a supporting cast of heroes, villains and eccentrics, set in a London where vast wealth and desperate poverty live cheek-by-jow."
--Jasper Rees, The Times
"Nicholas Nickleby was a revelation. Here was a school -- Dotheboy's Hall, with its grotesque headmaster, Wackford Squeers -- which was even worse than the prison camp to which my poor innocent parents had confined me! The story of Dotheboy's Hall seemed horribly familiar -- the beatings, the bad food. But here was something to which even a child could respond, As well as being sympathetic to the plight of the children, the author was hilarious."