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The London of Great Expectations.
A DJO film about the links between the novel and the city. [Play]
Portait of Simon Callow.
An introduction to Dickens Journals Online by actor Simon Callow.
Welcome to DJO

Written by John Drew

Archived under News , General News

150th Anniversary of Dickens's Death, 9th June 2020
A Commemorative Talk, with Interviews and a Live Q&A

  FB TW BLFVirtual  

 Streaming on Facebook Premier at 7pm. Click on the link above to join!

Written by Ben Winyard

Archived under News , General News

A Virtual Open Day of videos, blogs and chat showcasing archive materials from the Charles Dickens Museum, as well as DJO, and The Drood Inquiry!

Written by John Drew

Archived under News , General News

 Hard Times blog

Following on from our successful A Tale of Two Cities, No Name and Great Expectations reading and blogging projects, join us to read Dickens's Hard Times week-by-week, as the novel's first readers did, in Dickens's journal Household Words. We'll follow this punchy industrial-cum-family drama classic through its regular short weekly instalments for 20 weeks. We start on Wednesday 1 April (to coincide with the original 1854 publication date) and we'll read our final instalment on the 12th of August 2020. Participants can read the instalments in their magazine form via Dickens Journals Online and we'll share our responses in an online reading group/blog. You can also sign up to tweet each episode in character!

Click here to view the Hard Times reading project blog 

Here is the link to the installments: https://hardtimesreadalong.wordpress.com/ Remember not to read beyond the calendar date--no spoilers!

Written by John Drew

Hard Times was published in weekly instalments in Household Words from 1 April to 12 August 1854. Dickens's tenth novel, it was also his shortest, written in haste to boost the sales of Household Words, which had been dipping. Leaner and more focused than most of Dickens's novels, Hard Times has divided critics from the outset. For some, it lacks all the qualities that makes Dickens great—the humour, the characterization, the breadth of detail that makes his novels so rich. For others, such as F. R. Leavis, Hard Times is Dickens's 'masterpiece', his only novel where his 'distinctive creative genius is controlled throughout to a unifying and organizing significance' (The Great Tradition, p. 19).

Dedicated to Thomas Carlyle, Hard Times for These Times (to give the novel its full title) is often read as social commentary as it is as a novel. Through the lives of characters such as Thomas Gradgrind, Sissy Jupe, Stephen Blackpool and Josiah Bounderby, and the fictional setting of Coketown, Dickens presents what Leavis terms 'a moral fable' on the industrial revolution, class violence, contemporary trends in education and Utilitarianism (The Great Tradition, p. 226). Although Hilary Schor notes that 'the novel is in fact far less topical in its references than Bleak House' (The Cambridge Companion to Charles Dickens, p. 68).




Hard Times 1     Hard Times No. 2     Hard Times No. 3     Hard Times No. 4     Hard Times No. 5     Hard Times No. 6
Week 1
(1 April 1854)
Week 2
(8 April 1854)
Week 3
(15 April 1854)
Week 4
(22 April 1854)
Week 5
(29 April 1854)
Week 6
(6 May 1854)
Hard Times No. 7     Hard Times No. 8     Hard Times No. 9     Hard Times No. 11     Hard Times No. 11     Hard Times No. 6
Week 7
(13 May 1854)
Week 8
(20 May 1854)
Week 9
(27 May 1854)
Week 10
(3 June 1854)
Week 11
(10 June 1854)
Week 12
(17 June 1854)
Hard Times No. 13     Hard Times No. 14     Hard Times No. 15       Hard Times No. 16    Hard Times No. 17     Hard Times No. 18
Week 13
(24 June 1854)
Week 14
(1 July 1854)
Week 15
(8 July 1854)
Week 16
(15 July 1854)
Week 17
(22 July 1854)
Week 18
(29 July 1854)


Hard Times No. 19      Hard Times No. 20
Week 19
(5 August 1854)
Week 20
(12 August 1854)



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