Hard Times
For These Times
by Charles Dickens, 1854
Pages: 186
Read time: 8.8 hrs*
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Hard Times by Charles DickensHard Times – For These Times (commonly known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book surveys English society and satirises the social and economic conditions of the era. Hard Times is unusual in several ways. It is by far the shortest of Dickens' novels, barely a quarter of the length of those written immediately before and after it. Also, unlike all but one of his other novels, Hard Times has neither a preface nor illustrations. Moreover, it is his only novel not to have scenes set in London. Instead the story is set in the fictitious Victorian industrial Coketown, a generic Northern English mill-town, in some ways similar to Manchester, though smaller. Coketown may be partially based on 19th-century Preston. One of Dickens's reasons for writing Hard Times was that sales of his weekly periodical Household Words were low, and it was hoped the novel's publication in instalments would boost circulation – as indeed proved to be the case.... Learn more at Wikipedia ↗

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* Approximate time based on 105,028 words ÷ 200 words-per-minute average reading speed