Dombey and Son (Paperback)
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A darkly witty tale of two siblings' struggle to achieve happiness in the shadow of their father's pride
To Paul Dombey, business is all and money can do anything. He runs his family life as he runs his firm: coldly, calculatingly and commercially. The only person he cares for is his frail son, grooming him for entry into the family business; his daughter Florence, abandoned and ignored, craves affection from her unloving father, who sees her only as a 'base coin that couldn't be invested'. As Dombey's callousness extends to others - from his defiant second wife Edith, to Florence's admirer Walter Gay - he sows the seeds of his own destruction. Can this heartless businessman be redeemed? A compelling depiction of a man imprisoned by his own pride, Dombey and Son explores the devastating effects of emotional deprivation on a dysfunctional family and on society as a whole. In his introduction, Andrew Sanders discusses the character of Paul Dombey, business and family relationships in Dombey and Son and their similarities to Dickens's own childhood. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading, appendices, notes and the original illustrations by 'Phiz'.
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About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation, but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work. Andrew Sanders is Professor of English at the University of Durham. He has edited several Dickens novels and is the author of Charles Dickens: Resurrectionist (1982) and The Short Oxford History of English Literature (2000).