"Martin Chuzzlewit" is (to my mind) one of Dickens' best novels, and is both funny and serious at the same time. It tells the story of the different members of the Chuzzlewit family. Some of Dickens's best characters are in this book - drunken Mrs Gamp and her imaginary friend, and Mr Pecksniff, the epitome of the free-loading hypocrite.
But what is most notable in the book is its picture of a self-mythologising America, a country where "they're so fond of Liberty that they buy her and sell her and carry her to market with 'em. They've such a passion for Liberty, that they can't help taking liberties with her," a country which holds itself up as an example to the rest of the world, and where any criticism of an individual American is held to be a criticism of its "institutions" and defended as such. It's a picture that has many echoes more than 150 years on.
Fully illustrated with the 39 original black and white illustrations by Phiz.
An excellent read!
EDIT: 27 Dec 07
Added the original illustrations by Phiz. Converted words in capitals to italics, as appropriate, to match the printed book. Created a proper MobiPocket version of the book with full-size illustrations, library information, working table of contents link, etc. Uploaded v3.
EDIT: 19 Mar 08
Improved the layout and formatting of the book. Uploaded v4.
EDIT: 11 Oct 10
Thoroughly proof-read against the "Oxford Illustrated Dickens" edition. A number of errors corrected, and much formatting added (accented letters, italics, etc). Replaced the cover image to be consistent with the rest of my Dickens series. I now regard this book as "complete"; if you find even the smallest error remaining within it, please let me know. Uploaded v5.
Previous download count: 256
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