Item #15463 HARD TIMES. For These Times. Charles Dickens.
HARD TIMES. For These Times.
HARD TIMES. For These Times.

HARD TIMES. For These Times.

London: Bradbury & Evans, 1854. Original blind-stamped olive-green cloth.

First Edition of Dickens's novel sited in the grimy manufacturing city of Coketown; it is his only novel not to have scenes set in London. School superintendent Thomas Gradgrind tries hard to repress the children's imagination in favor of Facts: "Now what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts"; his own two sons are named Adam Smith and Malthus. In HARD TIMES Dickens was satirizing this utilitarian philosophy, and also publicizing the terrible working conditions of the industrial poor. HARD TIMES was not issued in monthly parts, but rather appeared serially in twenty weekly numbers of Dickens's "Household Words" during 1854 (Dickens wanted to give his periodical a boost, and it worked); it is one of only two Dickens novels that first appeared in book form unillustrated -- the other being GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

This copy is in the first of the four binding states, in horizontally-ribbed olive-green moiré cloth with "Price 5/-" at the foot of the spine. This is a near-fine copy, with scarcely any wear to the cloth, and with the spine gilt still bright; the original pale-yellow endpapers are clean and intact. The one flaw (other than the unavoidable browning of the spine) is a glass-ring on the rear cover. Smith I pp 85-88; Carter MBV pp 7-8. Item #15463

Price: $2,650.00

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