Hard Times

Hard Times

Summary

'Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else'

Dickens's novel honouring the value of the human heart in an age of materialism centres on Coketown, where Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school owner and model of Utilitarian success, feeds his pupils and his family with facts, banning fancy and wonder from young minds. As a consequence his obedient daughter Louisa becomes trapped in a loveless marriage, and his son Tom rebels to become embroiled in crime. As their fortunes cross with those of a free-spirited circus girl and a victimized weaver, Gradgrind is forced to question everything he believes in.

Edited with an Introduction and notes by KATE FLINT

About the author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812-70) is one of the most recognized celebrities of English literature. His many books include Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more