Charles Dickens, Hard Times

Sophie Phelps (Anglia Ruskin University)
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Hard Times was Charles Dickens’s tenth novel. With Great Expectations it shares the distinction of having an abstract idea as its title – rather than the name of a person or a place – and in being much more condensed and tightly focused than Dickens’s novels usually were. It was first published as a serial in twenty weekly parts between the 1st April and the 12th August 1854 to boost the flagging circulation of Household Words, the magazine Dickens edited for the publishers Bradbury and Evans. The novel did what was asked of it: the circulation of Household Words doubled by June and continued to rise through August, averaging 70,000 - 80,000 copies, “considerably exceeding the best figures to date” (Hard Times, xxxix). But the novel came in for some heavy criticism in the…

3491 words

Citation: Phelps, Sophie. "Hard Times". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 August 2019 [, accessed 08 December 2023.]

4846 Hard Times 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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