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Charles Dickens’s tenth novel, which was first published serially in Dickens’s own periodical journal “Household Words” in 1854, “Hard Times,” is a work that sought to highlight the social and economic divide that was growing between capitalistic mill owners and workers during the Victorian era of Great Britain. Set in the fictitious Coketown, “Hard Times” is a critical examination of the poor working conditions in many English factory towns of the time as well as the changing nature of the aristocracy and the working-class in the second half of the 19th century. The novel centers on the lives of Thomas Gradgrind, senior, the superintendent of the local school, his children, Louisa and Thomas, junior, and Sissy Jupe, a free-spirited circus girl who struggles to fit in as a student under the rigidly utilitarian instruction of the Gradgrind school. Through the lives of Gradgrind’s children, Dickens’s seeks to criticize the failure of excessively utilitarian philosophy which was so prevalent during his time. As Louisa finds herself in an unhappy marriage and Thomas, junior, descends into a life of moral corruption, their father begins to realize the shortcomings of the philosophy that he has so rigidly applied in raising them. This edition includes an introduction by Edwin Percy Whipple.