Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780679438847, 851pp.
Publication Date: March 20, 1995
At The Center of Martin Chuzzlewit - the novel Angus Wilson called "one of the most sheerly exciting of all Dickens stories" - is Martin himself, very old, very rich, very much on his guard. What he suspects (with good reason) is that every one of Iris close and distant relations, now converging in droves on the country inn where they believe he is dying, will stop at nothing to become the inheritor of Iris great fortune.
The distinctive combination of manic comedy, bitter satire and fierce melodrama separates this novel from its author's other works. Published in 1844 after Dickens returned from America, the action moves between Britain and United States in ways which highligh the failing of both societies.
(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)
When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With"Pickwick Papers"(1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader."Oliver Twist"(1837), "Nicholas Nickleby"(1838-9) and"The Old Curiosity Shop"(1840-41) were huge successes. Dickens followed"Martin Chuzzlewit"(1843-4) with his unforgettable, "A Christmas Carol("1843), "Bleak House"(1852-3), "Hard Times"(1854) and"Little Dorrit"(1855-7)""reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society."A Tale of Two Cities"(1859), "Great Expectations"(1860-1) and"Our Mutual Friend"(1864-5) complete his major works.
Dickens's marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day's work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day."
Martin Chuzzlewit is a dramatic serial on Masterpiece Theatre, a PBS television series presented by WGBH-TV, Boston, made possible by a grant from Mobil Corporation.