Left penniless after his feckless father's death, young Nicholas Nickleby has no choice but to make his own way in the world. For the sake of his mother and sister, he is forced by his hard-hearted uncle to take a post as an assistant master at Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys, run by the cruel and tyrannical headmaster, Wackford Squeers. But this is only the beginning of Nicholas's adventures in this most entertaining of Charles Dickens's novels. We follow the progress of Nicholas and his slow-witted companion Smike on their travels and encounter a supporting cast of delectable characters including the rambunctious Crummles theatre company and their talented performing pony, the dastardly Sir Mulberry Hawk, the delightful Mrs. Nickleby, the preposterous Kenwings, and many more. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterized by his criticism of cruelty and social injustice, but is above all one of the greatest comic masterpieces of nineteenth-century literature.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father worked as a clerk. In 1832 young Charles became a journalist and his work brought him into close contact with the grimmer facets of society. Before long he began to contribute to the Monthly Magazine using the pseudonym Boz. He wrote his first novel, Pickwick Papers, in 1836. This was a tremendous success and set him on to become one of Britain's greatest novelists. Thirteen further novels followed including David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Bleak House. He died in 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.