Greed has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and name-sake to make his own way in the world.
And so young Martin sets out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America. In depicting Martin’s journey Dickens created many vividly realized figures, from Martin’s optimistic manservant Mark Tapley to the drunken and corrupt private nurse Mrs Gamp.
With its portrayal of greed, blackmail and murder, and its searing satire on America, Dickens’s novel is a powerful and blackly comic story of hypocrisy and redemption.
The Smoking Bishop
In one way, Dickens was not a Victorian. He was born in 1812 and his formative years were spent under the Regency, then the reigns of George IV and William IV. By the time of Victoria’s coronation,...Read more
Strolling with Dickens
When I was a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s I believed that my father was a close personal friend of Charles Dickens. They must, I thought, have met at various inns in London and shared...Read more
A Dickens of a Project
At midnight on New Year’s Eve 2012, as fireworks burst over Hyde Park, I was propped up in bed with a paperback feeling a terrific failure. The book was Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge. I was 459...Read more