It is said that all England mourned the heartbreaking fate of little Paul Dombey, but it is the ordeal of his loving and long-suffering sister, Florence, that carries the full emotional weight of the story. Their father's cold obsession with the future of his business empire, the malevolent plotting of his greedy manager, Mr. Carker, and the tragic self-contempt of his proud second wife, Edith, cast a dark shadow over the life of the motherless girl. But as the world of Dombey and Son begins to fall to pieces, Florence is sustained by the warmth and brightness of humbler allies: her fiercely loyal nurse, Susan Nipper; her haplessly devoted suitor, Toots; the rough but loveable old salt Captain Cuttle and his friend Sol Gills; and her fervent admirer, the orphan Walter Gay. In its locomotive power and its transcendent moments of suspense and revelation, Dombey and Son is a superb example of Dickens's ability to combine the qualities of a social historian, a theatrical artist, and a poet of the utmost tenderness and insight.
Charles Dickens set this tale of a hard-hearted businessman, the son he pins all his hopes on, and the daughter he cruelly neglects in a country undergoing the storms of change brought by the Industrial Revolution.
This edition reprints the original Everyman's introduction by G.K. Chesterton and includes forty illustrations by Phiz.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city cold, isolated with barely enough to eat haunted him for the rest of his life. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. WithPickwick Papers(1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader.Oliver Twist(1837), Nicholas Nickleby(1838-9) andThe Old Curiosity Shop(1840-41) were huge successes.Martin Chuzzlewit(1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol(1843), Bleak House(1852-3), Hard Times(1854) andLittle Dorrit(1855-7)reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society.A Tale of Two Cities(1859), Great Expectations(1860-1) andOur Mutual Friend(1864-5) complete his major works. Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day."
“There’s no writing against such power as this—one has no chance.”—William Makepeace Thackeray