Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was a prolific and highly influential 19th century British author, who penned such acclaimed works as 'Oliver Twist,' 'A Christmas Carol,' 'David Copperfield,' 'Great Expectations,' and 'A Tale of Two Cities.' Dickens is known for his vivid characters, his portrayal of social conditions, and his critique of the social and economic forces of Victorian England.

Books

This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Great Expectations

    A young orphan boy, living with his cruel older sister and her kind blacksmith husband, has an encounter with an escaped convict that changes his life. Later, he becomes the protégé of a wealthy but reclusive woman and falls in love with her adopted daughter. He then learns that an anonymous benefactor has left him a fortune, leading him to believe that his benefactor is the reclusive woman and that she intends for him to marry her adopted daughter. He moves to London to become a gentleman, but his great expectations are ultimately shattered when he learns the true identity of his benefactor and the reality of his love interest.

  2. 2. David Copperfield

    This novel follows the life of its titular protagonist from his childhood to maturity. Born to a young widow, David endures a difficult childhood when his mother remarries a harsh and abusive man. After his mother's death, he is sent to a boarding school before being forced into child labor. As he grows, David experiences hardship, love, and loss, all the while meeting a colorful array of characters. The novel is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, showcasing the harsh realities of 19th-century England.

  3. 3. Bleak House

    "Bleak House" is a complex narrative that critiques the British judiciary system through a long-running legal case known as Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The story follows the lives of numerous characters, including the kind-hearted Esther Summerson, her friends Richard and Ada, and their guardian, Mr. Jarndyce, who are all caught in the web of a legal dispute over an inheritance. The novel is known for its detailed depiction of the legal system, its vivid characters, and its exploration of social issues of the time.

  4. 4. A Tale of Two Cities

    Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this classic novel explores themes of class struggle, sacrifice, and resurrection. The narrative follows the lives of several characters, including a dissipated English lawyer, a man who is a long-term prisoner in the Bastille, and a woman who becomes embroiled in the political turmoil of the time. The story is a riveting tale of love and sacrifice, with the infamous guillotine looming in the background, symbolizing the violence and unrest of the era.

  5. 5. The Pickwick Papers

    The book is a humorous and satirical depiction of English society in the 19th century, told through the travels and adventures of a group of gentlemen from London, led by a kind-hearted and naive man. Their escapades take them to various locales where they encounter a plethora of eccentric characters and find themselves in comical and sometimes absurd situations. The narrative is interspersed with tales and anecdotes told by the characters themselves, adding to the richness and diversity of the overall story.

  6. 6. The Adventures of Oliver Twist

    This classic novel follows the life of a young orphan named Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin. Despite numerous adversities, Oliver remains pure at heart and is eventually saved from a life of crime, revealing his true identity and claiming his rightful inheritance.

  7. 7. Our Mutual Friend

    In this classic novel, a complex web of characters is spun around a central plot involving a mysterious inheritance. The narrative explores various themes such as love, greed, social class, and human nature, set against the backdrop of Victorian London. The story unfolds through the lives of numerous characters including a dust contractor, his charming daughter, a lawyer, a teacher, and a couple of greedy, scheming relatives, all of whom are connected by the mysterious fortune left by a deceased man to his estranged son, who is presumed drowned.

  8. 8. A Christmas Carol

    This classic tale follows a miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who despises Christmas and all forms of happiness. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and three spirits representing Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. These apparitions take him on a journey that forces him to confront his selfish ways, leading him to a transformation where he becomes a kinder and more generous person, embodying the true spirit of Christmas.

  9. 9. Little Dorrit

    "Little Dorrit" is a classic novel that revolves around the life of Amy Dorrit, a young woman who was born and raised in Marshalsea Prison where her father is incarcerated due to debt. The narrative explores themes of imprisonment and freedom, wealth and poverty, as well as social criticism of Victorian England. As Amy navigates her life in and out of the prison, her journey intertwines with that of Arthur Clennam, a man who returns to England after his father's death and becomes determined to solve a family mystery that involves the Dorrits.

  10. 10. Dombey and Son

    "Dombey and Son" is a classic novel that explores the life of a wealthy and powerful businessman who is obsessed with maintaining his family's prestige. He places high hopes on his son while neglecting his daughter, only to face devastating loss and disappointment. The narrative is a complex web of relationships, social critiques, and vivid characters, all set against the backdrop of Victorian England. The story ultimately underscores the importance of love, compassion, and familial bonds over wealth and social status.

  11. 11. Nicholas Nickleby

    The story follows Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who becomes the head of his family after his father's death. He and his family are left penniless by an unscrupulous uncle, who also sends Nicholas to work in a cruel and abusive boarding school. Nicholas eventually escapes, travels the country, meets a variety of eccentric characters, and has many adventures. Throughout his journey, Nicholas struggles against adversity and the greed and cruelty of others, while aiming to protect his sister and mother. The novel is a social critique, highlighting the terrible conditions of schools and the plight of the poor in 19th-century England.

  12. 12. Hard Times

    This novel presents a social critique of industrial Victorian England through the story of the Gradgrind family. The patriarch, a staunch believer in the practicality of facts and statistics, raises his children in a sterile, emotionless environment, causing his daughter to enter a loveless marriage and his son to become a dissipated gambler. The narrative explores themes of industrialization, utilitarianism, and the dehumanizing effects of mechanization on the working class, ultimately advocating for a balanced education that includes both facts and feelings.

  13. 13. The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

    The unfinished novel revolves around the titular character, Edwin Drood, who mysteriously disappears amid a backdrop of jealousy, opium dreams, and a love triangle. The story is set in the provincial town of Cloisterham and follows Drood, his uncle John Jasper, and their entangled relationships with Rosa Bud, Drood's fiancée, and the siblings Helena and Neville Landless. With themes of betrayal, unrequited love, and the dark underbelly of Victorian society, the narrative builds towards Drood's disappearance, which leads to suspicion and an unresolved whodunit due to the author's death before the novel's completion.

  14. 14. Martin Chuzzlewit

    The novel centers around the experiences of its namesake character, an elderly and wealthy man who becomes disillusioned by the selfishness of his family members, all of whom are eager to inherit his fortune. The story explores themes of greed, betrayal, and redemption as young Martin Chuzzlewit, the grandson, embarks on a journey of personal growth and moral enlightenment. Set against the backdrop of both England and America, the narrative satirizes the hypocrisies of society and the complexities of human nature, weaving a tale of love, adventure, and social commentary through a cast of vividly drawn characters.

  15. 15. Christmas Stories

    This collection of tales captures the essence of the holiday spirit through a series of stories that intertwine the themes of redemption, compassion, and the joys and challenges of the Christmas season. The narratives, set in Victorian England, explore the lives of diverse characters, from the miserly and the downtrodden to the benevolent and the misunderstood. Through supernatural visitations, moral dilemmas, and heartwarming transformations, the stories champion the power of kindness, the importance of charity, and the value of celebrating Christmas as a time for forgiveness and generosity towards all.

  16. 16. The Old Curiosity Shop

    The Old Curiosity Shop tells the story of Little Nell Trent, a beautiful and virtuous young girl who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities. After her grandfather loses his entire fortune with his gambling addiction, he and Nell are forced to leave their home and live as beggars. The novel follows their journey across England and the various characters they meet along the way, including the villainous dwarf Quilp, who pursues them relentlessly. The book is a mix of humor and pathos, exploring themes of virtue, resilience, and the harsh realities of life in 19th-century England.