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Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. Book Cover. Download. A Christmas Carol & Other Stories · A Christmas Carol: A Coloring Classic · Scrooge #worstgiftever · David Copperfield. See all books by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol & Other Stories. A Christmas Carol: A Coloring Classic. Scrooge #worstgiftever. David Copperfield. See all books by Charles.

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Published, Serialised March -October ; book format Publisher, Chapman & Hall. Media type, Print. Pages, (first edition). OCLC · Preceded by, Oliver Twist. Followed by, The Old Curiosity Shop. Nicholas Nickleby; or, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is a novel by Charles . Nicholas Nickleby book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. 'I shall never regret doing as I have—never, if I starve or. Nicholas Nickleby (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – January 5, by .. Nicholas Nickleby was the third book written by Charles Dickens, and it was.

Add to Cart About Nicholas Nickleby Charles Dickens had an understanding of mid-Victorian society second to none, and genius and energy massive enough to make the absurdities and terrors of that society come alive on the page. Nicholas Nickleby, with its episodes of chicanery in finance and education, and the dramatic intensity with which it tells the story of its openhearted young protagonist and its frightening villain, the magnificently rendered Ralph Nickleby, represents Dickens at his clear-eyed, indignant, and mesmerizing best. When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless by the death of his father, he appeals to his Uncle Ralph to help him and his mother and sister. But Ralph conceives a violent hatred of the young man, and his schemes of persecution haunt Nicholas through a series of picaresque adventures, including a job as a tutor at a horrific school for unwanted boys run by the cruel Wackford Squeers and a stint as a member of the eccentric Crummles family theater troupe. This edition reprints the original Everyman preface by G. Chesterton and includes thirty-nine illustrations by Phiz. About Nicholas Nickleby Charles Dickens had an understanding of mid-Victorian society second to none, and genius and energy massive enough to make the absurdities and terrors of that society come alive on the page.

His fiction influenced both public perception and social reform, and this is one of the reasons he is truly a great author. We know that prior to Nicholas Nickleby , Dickens had seen advertisements in the London papers for cheap boarding schools in Yorkshire.

It was stressed that there were "no holidays" from these schools. Dickens's antennae must have gone up, as he knew they were a convenient place to dispose of unwanted or illegitimate children. During the writing of "Oliver Twist" Dickens and his friend, Hablot Browne who was to illustrate the book had travelled in secret to Yorkshire to investigate these schools in January There they met William Shaw, the headmaster of Bowes Academy.

The neglect and maltreatment at this notorious school was responsible for the blindness of several boys, and some actually died as a consequence. It became so infamous that "Bowes Academy", eventually by became known as "Dotheboys Hall"!

Many of the other characters were also based on real life people. The character of Miss La Crevy, who befriended the Nickleby family, was based on the actual person, Rosa Emma Drummond, who painted a miniature engraved portrait of Dickens on ivory. Dickens had commissioned this, so that he could give it to his fiancee, Catherine Hogarth as an engagement present.

Like Miss Drummond, Miss La Creevy, was a good-natured, middle-aged miniature painter, described by Dickens as a "mincing young lady of fifty". Davenport and his nine year old prodigy of a daughter, Jean. Davenport and his daughter appeared on the Portsmouth stage in March Dickens's own mother, Elizabeth Dickens, was the model for Mrs.

Luckily for Charles she didn't recognise herself in the character. In fact she asked someone if they, "really believed there ever was such a woman"! And most surprising and notable of all is that the Cheeryble brothers were based on real life characters too! They are based on two benefactors who were brothers, Daniel and William Grant. They came from Scotland, but settled in Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester although during Dickens's time, this will have been thought of as part of the county of Lancashire.

Some of the fine houses they built are still there. For instance, St. Andrew's Church from is also known as Grant's Church. Dickens was keen to make sure everyone knew of these remarkable pair. This is from his preface, in May, , "It may be right to say that there are 2 characters in this book which are drawn from life.

So perhaps the persuasive writing he was so keen on, the social conscience he displayed in his writing in the early part of this novel, feels very familiar, because it was written on the same days as the latter half of Oliver Twist. He was also, of course, doing his editing work too. Dickens seemed to delight in working under pressure at high speed! What the reader takes away from this novel is mainly a memory of the dramatic, eccentric and unique characters, although probably only a fraction of the total proliferation stay with us.

We may remember the plot too. Yet credit should also be given to Dickens's masterly powers of description, which are also very apparent in Nicholas Nickleby. Often Dickens will exaggerate for effect, or use personification, or even the pathetic fallacy, where he is keen to convey a mood. He is adept at attributing human qualities and emotions to inanimate objects.

Here's a wonderful description of Arthur Gride, "a little old man, of about seventy or seventy-five years of age, of a very lean figure, much bent and slightly twisted. He wore His nose and chin were sharp and prominent, his jaws had fallen inwards from loss of teeth, his face was shrivelled and yellow, save where the cheeks were streaked with the colour of a dry winter apple; and where his beard had been, there lingered yet a few grey tufts which seemed, like the ragged eyebrows, to denote the badness of the soil from which they sprung.

The whole air and attitude of the form was one of stealthy cat-like obsequiousness; the whole expression of the face was concentrated in a wrinkled leer, compounded of cunning, lecherousness, slyness, and avarice. Meagre old chairs and tables, of spare and bony make, and hard and cold as misers' hearts, were ranged, in grim array, against the gloomy walls; attenuated presses, grown lank and lantern-jawed in guarding the treasures they enclosed, and tottering, as though from constant fear and dread of thieves, shrunk up in dark corners, whence they cast no shadows on the ground, and seemed to hide and cower from observation.

Of course it is exaggerated and whimsical rather than realistic, but it is brilliantly described.

Nicholas Nickleby, Book by Charles Dickens (Paperback) |

Here's another example, where a different house is described. It feels less organic, but holds more of a portent. Kate Nickleby has this to say of the house Ralph acquires for them, "This house depresses and chills one and seems as if some blight had fallen on it.

If I were superstitious, I should be almost inclined to believe that some dreadful crime had been perpetrated within these old walls, and that the place had never prospered since. How frowning and how dark it looks!

Both of these to me show Dickens's supreme craft as a writer. Nicholas Nickleby is partly a "bildungsroman" - a story about the coming of age of the main character - and partly a social commentary on injustice. The maltreatment of children in the educational system features highly throughout, with Dickens using all the tricks of the trade to persuade his readers; pathos, comedy, satire, and powerful storytelling.

He also employs coincidences, which we all love in life, and melodrama, which heightened the entertainment value at the time it was written.

My favourite Dickens: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

As well as focusing on the private Yorkshire poor schools, savagely condemning those responsible for the system that treated children so cruelly, it also indicts those who use fraudulent financial tactics and other dishonest business practices. There is certainly a memorable plot, and it could be thought of as "Three Weddings and a Funeral" - but there are two funerals here, and they are poles apart. They are both highly dramatic and tragic, because they are ultimately both avoidable.

So is it the funniest novel in the English language? Well it all depends on your taste. It is possibly the funniest novel ever written by Dickens himself. Yet it is also extremely poignant, sad, chilling, bitter and it has to be said overblown and melodramatic.

It is by turns absurd, comic, tragic and moving. It is quintessentially Charles Dickens. If you love Dickens, you'll love this one - don't miss it! View all 48 comments. The life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens The novel centres on the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies.

Nicholas Nickleby's father dies unexpectedly after losing all of his money in a poor investment. Nicholas, his mother and his younger sister, Kate, are forced to give up their comfortable lifestyle in Devonshire and travel to London to seek the aid of their only relative, Nicholas's uncle, Ralph N The life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens The novel centres on the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies.

Nicholas, his mother and his younger sister, Kate, are forced to give up their comfortable lifestyle in Devonshire and travel to London to seek the aid of their only relative, Nicholas's uncle, Ralph Nickleby. Ralph, a cold and ruthless businessman, has no desire to help his destitute relations and hates Nicholas, who reminds him of his dead brother, on sight. He gets Nicholas a low-paying job as an assistant to Wackford Squeers, who runs the school Dotheboys Hall in Yorkshire.

Nicholas is initially wary of Squeers a very unpleasant man with one eye because he is gruff and violent towards his young charges, but he tries to quell his suspicions. A once-wealthy businessman, Noggs lost his fortune, became a drunk, and had no other recourse but to seek employment with Ralph, whom he loathes.

The letter expresses concern for him as an innocent young man, and offers assistance if Nicholas ever requires it. Once he arrives in Yorkshire, Nicholas comes to realise that Squeers is running a scam: Squeers and his monstrous wife whip and beat the children regularly, while spoiling their own son.

Lessons are no better; they show how poorly educated Squeers himself is and he uses the lessons as excuses to send the boys off on chores. While he is there, Nicholas befriends a simple boy named Smike, who is older than the other "students" and now acts as an unpaid servant. Nicholas attracts the attention of Fanny Squeers, his employer's plain and shrewish daughter, who deludes herself into thinking that Nicholas is in love with her. She attempts to disclose her affections during a game of cards, but Nicholas doesn't catch her meaning.

After being accosted by Fanny again, Nicholas bluntly tells her he does not return her affections and wishes to be free of the horrible atmosphere of Dotheboys Hall, earning her enmity. View all 4 comments. Jan 02, Perry rated it really liked it. If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! Nicholas Nickleby was his third novel, right after Oliver Twist.

This novel is lighter than Twist but nearly as influential in pressuring changes to English society in the mids. Here, Dickens' target was an abusive all-male boarding school in Yorkshire. In researching for this novel, Dickens made "No dark sarcasm in the classroom In researching for this novel, Dickens made visits to this school and based his villainous schoolmaster Wackford Squeers on the Yorkshire master William Shaw, who was apparently one brutally cruel son of a bitch.

This included the first romance written by Dickens, though it fell considerably short of the one he wrote for David Copperfield. In sum, I enjoyed it, but found the story didn't flow as well as some of his later novels. Only now, as I will getting to know the work of Dickens, I begin to understand why his books make me feel young. It is that books like this arouse the dream; they are dramas of real life in which good and evil clash, but being the Good the eternal winner.


The famous Happy Endings of Dickens are not only elements of romantic oversimplification; They are a manife Only now, as I will getting to know the work of Dickens, I begin to understand why his books make me feel young. The famous Happy Endings of Dickens are not only elements of romantic oversimplification; They are a manifesto of their belief in the future of humanity, based on the natural goodness of man.

This is perhaps its most dramatic book, in which the situations of injustice and evil are more raw and violent; but it is also the book of which I have read where redemption is greater where the punishments are heavier and the good are more magnanimously rewarded, making remember the most romantic novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with deeply Manichean characters. This is perhaps the book of Dickens in his experience as a journalist is more notorious, with objective, clear, almost visual descriptions.

There is thus a simple and enjoyable read. Throughout the book, the protagonist will strengthen your character. At first he is a good soul, but something amorphous behavior. But the violence of society bringeth him to the need of shape this strong character and the second half of the work came across a Nicholas with great strength of character, a lawman, a power element and able belief serve as a model to amorphous political and selfish Dickens also ridicules. In fact, what distinguishes the characters, rather than the Good or Evil is the Will; It is the wanting is the strength to want to change, to save a tainted society violently by inequality and injustice.

Namely, in the book's core lies a profound social criticism above all, but also criticizes policy. The targets are the Lord, that is, the aristocrat flabby, self-seeking and ignorant bourgeois exploitative and selfish but also politicians, disinterested public good. Dickens, of course, was the hinge of the debate.

Criticism of the education system seems to extend in a more global way, the whole social system based on materialism and a certain rationalist order. The criticism takes a satirical way, despite the dramatic nature of the way they are treated the students of the boarding school where Nicholas works; the schoolmaster, greedy, perfidious, is the image of the character who only appropriate material goods and the school practices a system of violent corporal punishment justified by the need to order; now, this "order" seems to be also the reason for a more comprehensive social repression that Dickens accuses the figure of politicians, unscrupulous traders, the state officials, in short all the ruling bourgeois class at the time.

But do not consider that the book amounts to a heavy and austere criticism; suddenly the book ceases to be a drama to go transforming an almost joyful adventure book; Nicholas transformation into an actor and contact with new characters give the book a lightness, a grace that the game is not unfolded, such was the weight of the Nickleby family woes.

View all 12 comments. When the name of the cruel schoolmaster is Wackford Squeers you just know it's going to be good. Nicholas himself can sometimes be a bit prissy but this serves well as a foil for the many extreme characters that surround him and he's a lot more feisty than the relatively milquetoast David Copperfield.

This is classic Dickens at the height of his powers.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

My generic comment about Charles Dickens: First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works, When the name of the cruel schoolmaster is Wackford Squeers you just know it's going to be good.

First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works, I concede to three flaws in his oeuvre that are not insignificant. First, while he seemed to develop an almost endless variety of male social types, his female characters are much less well developed. Second, although he portrayed the stark brutality of economic and class inequality with unparalleled clarity, his diagnosis of what needs to be done is flaccidly liberal, suggesting that the wealthy should simply be nicer and more generous to the poor yet his writings did propitiate structural changes, e.

Third, in tying up the loose threads of his extremely complex plots, he often pushes this reader past the boundary of the reasonable suspension of disbelief. Some readers also object to his sentimentalism or to his grotesque characters but I find these extremes create a dynamism in combination with his social criticism. These caveats aside, I deeply enjoy reading Dickens for a number of reasons. He exhibits stratospheric gifts of imagination in portraying extremes of human character in extreme situations.

His idiosyncratic characters each have an unmistakable and unforgettable voice. His highly crafted language is endlessly inventive and evocative. Finally, he created a parade of some of the funniest, evilest, and most pathetic characters one will ever encounter and although extreme, they also ring true to equivalent characters from any time.

I'm glad that Classics Corner at Constant Reader elected to read NN for its April book as I've intended for a while to return to my goal of reading as many of Dickens' books as possible over time. And I was not disappointed with this book. While not as developed as later works, it introduces familiar themes, settings, character types, etc. View all 6 comments. Nov 26, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: He is predictable, there will be coincidences that could never happen in the real world, and in the end everyone will get their just deserts except for the poor, sad creature who is destined to see heaven ahead of his time.

Ah, but he does it with so much style and panache. He creates characters you are seldom ambivalent about, dastardly villains you can feel no compassion for, and good people who restore your faith in humanity. In Nicholas Nickleby, as in all his novels, Dickens has a full grasp of the class system of his time and the conditions of the poor.

He never fails to illustrate that money brings its own unhappiness for some, and that true value is found in character and dignity, devotion and love.

When a Dickens character is at the mercy of the world, you can bet he will see the worst and best sides of humanity rearing their heads. Nicholas Nickleby has its share of Dickens humor as well.

Nickleby is a bit of a buffoon, who is saved from herself by the good sense of her children. I will admit that there are times when she is almost too much.

There is Newman Noggs, who is sure to remain a favorite for me because he is good without any obligation to be so. He gives from a position in which there is very little to be given and made me chuckle more than once when snipping at the horrible Uncle Ralph. We should all like to think that somewhere in our world there are people like Charles and Ned Cheeryble. They live up to their names, for no two cheerier people could there be in this world and they certainly spread the cheer everywhere.

They seem to be proof that goodness is its own reward. Another thing I love about Dickens, his ability to touch upon the thin divide between our world and that of the departed. I t would almost seem as though our better thoughts and sympathies were charms, in virtue of which the soul is enable to hold some vague and mysterious intercourse with the spirits of those whom we dearly loved in life.

I have discovered that reading Dickens slowly brings out the best in his writing. I languished over his descriptions of people and places and took my time over his hilarious conversations. If you pay close attention, you can see s London through his eyes.

The lessons of his time are the lesson of today, where so many seem to think money and possessions outweigh personal connections and love of humanity. It is good for the soul to read Dickens. Up next, some Christmas stories and the annual reading of A Christmas Carol. Next year I am planning to fit in three more Dickens novels: View all 16 comments. Jan 13, Lori rated it liked it. After his father dies, Nicholas Nickleby must go to work to support his mother and sister. The family is at the mercy of the "wicked uncle.

Squeers and his equally corrupt wife regularly abuse the boys in their charge. After an incident, Nicholas leaves for London, being joined by Smike, one of the older boys. Newman Noggs, an employee of Ralph Nickleby,delivers a message to Nicholas. Life, l After his father dies, Nicholas Nickleby must go to work to support his mother and sister.

Life, love, and corruption continue to abound in the novel. Like most of Dickens' novels, social problems of the day are prominent. Enjoyable, but probably not Dickens' best work. The reread was certainly worth it and not only for the convivial fellowship of the monthly meetings. How can you go wrong with cheese and cakes being offered, and tea and sometimes wine being poured? My own almost meaningless side-note: Yes, even Mrs.

Nickleby, who certainly has more personality than her two children. She's obtuse, self-centered and muddleheaded; but she can be sarcastic in the way of a mother whose children are always telling her how wrong she is: To this, Mrs Nickleby only replied that she durst say she was very stupid, indeed she had no doubt she was, for her own children almost as much as told her so, every day of her life; to be sure she was a little older than they, and perhaps some foolish people might think she ought reasonably to know best.

Book nicholas nickleby

However, no doubt she was wrong; of course she was; she always was, she couldn't be right, she couldn't be expected to be; so she had better not expose herself any more; and to all Kate's conciliations and concessions for an hour ensuing, the good lady gave no other replies than Oh, certainly, why did they ask her? What power for a novel and its author who, at the time of its writing, was only twenty-five years old.

View all 18 comments. Jul 16, Paul E. Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why? What can I say? This is Dickens at his best and the master certainly doesn't need MY recommendation!

Suffice it to say that Simon Vance's narration does justice to the material making this an excellent choice for any audiobook reader with an ear for the classics. If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? Rock 'n' Roll! None of them are in this film but watch it anyway! Apologies fo Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? Apologies for the above 'joke' I just can't help myself Taken from my original review on Audible.

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Book nicholas nickleby

Nickleby only replied that she durst say she was very stupid, indeed she had no doubt she was, for her own children almost as much as told her so, every day of her life; to be sure she was a little older than they, and perhaps some foolish people might think she ought reasonably to know best. Even if you have not read any Dickens, you will be able to get a good idea of the character of the schoolmaster Wackford Squeers simply through his name alone.

That assessment is open to debate of course, but I think it reflects a consensus. My theory is that this is because the scenes of peril in the novel are rarely sustained. The dangers characters face at different points is never very serious, and is usually resolved quickly.

From this perspective Nicholas lives a charmed life. When his father dies unexpectedly, rather than ending up in the workhouse, his family has a rich uncle Frank to turn to. He easily gets a job as a teacher despite his lack of qualifications.

While Dotheboys Hall is a nightmarish place for the boys, for Nicholas it is far less uncomfortable, and when his patience is pushed too far he can simply beat Wackford and walk away, something of which the boys can only dream.

Book nicholas nickleby

The trauma of the subsequent assault on Kate by Sir Mulberry Hawk is obviously serious, but is quickly stopped by Ralph. He finds a job on the stage in Portsmouth and debuts almost immediately as Romeo. Later, compelled to return to London, he again finds well-paid work straight away with the loveable merchants, the Cheeryble the brothers.

Nicholas has been accompanied on his adventures by Smike, an orphan runaway from Dotheboys. Smike has the misfortune to run into Squeers, who kidnaps him, but is rescued within hours. A subsequent attempt to reclaim Smike by the use of forged documents to the effect that he is the long-lost son of a man named Snawley is avoided by the simple expedient of ignoring it. Inevitably, romantic interest intervenes. Nicholas nobly tries to avoid making Madeline Bray, the penniless daughter of a debtor, fall in love with him, but it comes as no surprise when this plan fails.

This scheme falls apart on the day of the wedding when her father drops conveniently dead. The happily-ever-after then comes in a rush as all the plots against Nicholas fall away as so much background noise. Imagine how more scary being a pupil at Dotheboys would have been compared to being a master? Ultimately, this lack of genuine peril is what makes this novel considered suitable for children. Andrew McDowell said: June 28, at 1: Dickens went undercover to investigate, and used what he learned in Nicholas Nickleby.

The school he visited was the inspiration for Dotheboys, as was the headmaster William Shaw, who became Mr. Product details File Size: Unlimited Publisher: Charles Dickens Classics: February 4, Sold by: English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: Not Enabled.

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Showing of reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified download. Some chapters really have nothing to do with the story about Nickolas and his family; the coincidences are really implausible, and sometimes it seems that Dickens can not really figure out what to do. One bad guy is killed in a duel that has nothing to do with the plot.

At least he did not have a piano fall on him. But for all that, Dickens is one of the world's great story-tellers and you will find yourself wanting to know what is going to happen to Nicholas and his family as they go through some really bad years of their lives. Spoiler alert: They all live happily ever after. Also, you will learn a lot about London in the early to middle 19th century. It is entertaining and well worth reading.

Nicholas Nickleby is the tale of a young man whose father has died leaving his family penniless. Nicholas must find a job to support his mother and sister, Kate. The family turns for help to their uncle, Ralph Nickleby, a ruthless businessman, who has taken a dislike to his relatives. Nicholas Nickleby was the third book written by Charles Dickens, and it was published in serial form monthly in and before being published as a book in At first, I found the book very readable.

As with many books written in the s, the prose tends to be very wordy, and the style of the language is more stilted and formal than in books written more recently. I felt there were a lot of descriptive passages in the book that could have been edited, making the book more streamlined. After a while, I felt that I got bogged down in the detail which made it somewhat less enjoyable to read.

Also, Dickens introduces many characters throughout the book who really do not have a bearing on the overall tale. The characters seem to be part of amusing anecdotes used as filler to keep the serial going as long as possible.

I felt that there was a lot of buildup to a climax, and then the story just petered out with minimal wrap-up compared to the amount of buildup. For instance, we learn much about two aristocratic gentlemen and also a family of performers, none of whom figure largely at the end of the story, but there is very little to be learned about the future spouses of both Nicholas and Kate, even though they would have more bearing on the longer story.

Please skip the next paragraph as there are spoilers contained. I felt that there were some inconsistencies in how certain characters reacted. Nicholas seemed to be a very kind and honorable young man; however, at the beginning of the story, he seems to have a terrible temper which gets him into trouble. Not long afterward, he seems to have matured, and there is little reason for this given by the author.

He may have realized the error of his ways, but Dickens did not see fit to mention this.

Also, Ralph Nickleby is portrayed as a mean and heartless man. He finds that he has a son who was ill-treated before he was befriended by the Nickleby family and has now died. Because of this Ralph commits suicide, which seems very out of character. I did enjoy the classic good-triumphs over evil storyline. I also enjoyed meeting the many and varied characters introduced by Dickens, although there were a lot to keep track of. Dickens does a fabulous job of fleshing out some of the characters, but he does leave other characters feeling flat.

Complicated plot and lots of characters. I read on the Kindle, but also listened to the Audible Reading, which was excellent. Complicated plot and lots of characters, and chapters that reflect Dickens' stint as a writer of novels published serially in newsprint or magazines.