Hard Times (version 2), Locked Out and On Strike

Charles DICKENS (1812 - 1870)

Hard Times was Dickens's shortest novel and the only one to be set in the industrial north of England. A fast moving story with a typical cast of larger than life characters, the novel is a vehicle for a humanist critique of both utilitarian education ('Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts', says Mr. Gradgrind in the opening paragraph) and the mutual antagonism between capital and the trade union. A humanist education system, it turns out, is Dickens's solution to the class struggle. Hard Times is set in the fictional Coketown and was partly inspired by a visit to Preston during the factory lockout that brought the town's industry to a standstill in 1853. This version is read as it appeared in 20 issues of Dickens's weekly Household Words from April to August 1854. It is followed by two earlier articles - Locked Out and On Strike - that describe Dickens' visit to Preston and do much to clarify his thinking on education and class conflict. - Summary by Phil Benson

Genre(s): Published 1800 -1900

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 1 April 1854 - Chapters 1-3 Phil Benson
00:28:19
Play 02 8 April 1854 - Chapters 4-5 Phil Benson
00:30:11
Play 03 15 April 1854 - Chapter 6 Phil Benson
00:29:49
Play 04 22 April 1854 - Chapters 7-8 Phil Benson
00:28:43
Play 05 29 April 1854 - Chapters 9-10 Phil Benson
00:29:46
Play 06 6 May 1854 - Chapters11-12 Phil Benson
00:29:20
Play 07 13 May 1854 - Chapters 13-14 Phil Benson
00:28:39
Play 08 20 May 1854 - Chapters 15-16 Phil Benson
00:30:09
Play 09 27 May 1854 - Chapter 17 Phil Benson
00:29:24
Play 10 3 June 1854 - Chapters 18-19 Phil Benson
00:29:10
Play 11 10 June 1854 - Chapters 20-21 Phil Benson
00:34:24
Play 12 17 June 1854 - Chapter 22 Phil Benson
00:27:02
Play 13 24 June 1854 - Chapter 23 Phil Benson
00:28:25
Play 14 1 July 1854 - Chapter 24 Phil Benson
00:29:28
Play 15 8 July 1854 - Chapters 25-26 Phil Benson
00:29:02
Play 16 15 July 1854 - Chapters 27-28 Phil Benson
00:30:34
Play 17 22 July 1854 - Chapters 29-30 Phil Benson
00:34:00
Play 18 29 July 1854 - Chapters 31-32 Phil Benson
00:42:03
Play 19 5 August 1854 - Chapters 33-34 Phil Benson
00:42:50
Play 20 12 August 1854 - Chapters 35-36 Phil Benson
00:54:04
Play 21 Locked Out Phil Benson
00:19:32
Play 22 On Strike Phil Benson
00:36:48