One of Dickens's early novels, Nicholas Nickleby combines comedy and tragedy in a tale of triumph over adversity that is interspersed with Dickens's moving condemnation of society's mistreatment of children and the cruelty of the educational system. Young Nickleby struggles to seek his fortune in Victorian England, yet succeeds despite social injustice, in a story that mirrors Dickens' own rise from poverty to great success.
One of eight children, Dickens came from a very poor family, with his father eventually being sent to debtor's prison. At the age of 12, Dickens was forced to start work in a blacking factory in order to help clear the family debt.
Dickens even depicts a funny version of his own mother in the character of Mrs. Nickleby, his feelings towards her dark and complex after she tried to keep him working against her husband's wishes. Something Dickens never forgave her for.
Hailed as a comic triumph with a cast of incredible characters, it firmly established Dickens as a 'literary gentleman'.
Full of typically Dickensian elements, the novel is well suited to dramatic adaptation with there being an array of film and television adaptations throughout the decades.
It is widely regarded as one of the greatest comic masterpieces of 19th-century literature and continues to entertain its fans to this day.
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Wonderful tale, wonderful reader
Such a Pleasure