Charles Dickens: Five Book Collection Unknown Binding – 20 Nov 2011
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2012 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of our greatest and most important novelists, Charles Dickens. To celebrate we're publishing five of his best and most well-loved novels in this exclusive, must-have set of our Penguin Classics editions. The set includes paperback editions of:
- David Copperfield
- Great Expectations
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Hard Times
- Oliver Twist
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41). A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843, David Copperfield in 1850. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage. He published Hard Times in 1854, A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 and Great Expectations in 1860. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and he died on 9 June 1870.
Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, they all come with an extensive introduction, placing the novel in context and giving enough of the background to be interesting, without becoming tediously long.
Second there are extensive notes on the text, again helping to bring out more meat.
Finally, there is the text itself:
Many classic novels, including many Dickens, we're originally released in significantly different versions to those generally available today. What we see lining the shelves of libraries and discount bookstores are frequently edited versions put together either without the consent of the author, or even after their death. And this is where these books really excel.
They are all much earlier versions, some taken from original periodical publication, while others have actually been compared to original manuscripts! Many contain information and crucial story points that were subsequently watered down or removed entirely. At points, it can feel like you're reading a whole new novel.
Significantly though, not all are what Dickens would have considered 'final' versions. Oliver Twist, for instance, contains numerous racial slights regarding Fagin that Dickens himself changed or toned down after complaints, while his famous opening piece about the town for which he would 'assign no fictitious name' replaced the much shorter comment that the town was called 'Mudfog'!
And this is the beauty of these books. Such things are explained simply and you gain a real insight into the workings of the author's mind without feeling lectured to.
I got these because I enjoyed reading the books and would heartily recommend these fantastic editions to anyone who actually wants to read these for pleasure as well as for learning. And the five book set offered fantastic value for money, even though I already had one of them!