It is impossible to overstate the importance of British novelist CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) not only to literature in the English language, but to Western civilization on the whole. He is arguably the first fiction writer to have become an international celebrity. He popularized episodic fiction and the cliffhanger, which had a profound influence on the development of film and television. He is entirely responsible for the popular image of Victorian London that still lingers today, and his characters-from Oliver Twist to Ebenezer Scrooge, from Miss Havisham to Uriah Heep-have become not merely iconic, but mythic. But it was his stirring portraits of ordinary people-not the upper classes or the aristocracy-and his fervent cries for social, moral, and legal justice for the working poor, and in particular for poor children, in the grim early decades of the Industrial Revolution that powerfully impacted social concerns well into the 20th century. Without Charles Dickens, we may never have seen the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Upton Sinclair, or even Bob Dylan. Here, in 30 beautiful volumes-complete with all the original illustrations-is every published word written by one of the most important writers ever. The essential collector's set will delight anyone who cherishes English literature...and who takes pleasure in constantly rediscovering its joys. This volume contains A Child's History of England, which was serialized from 1851 to 1853 in the weekly magazine Dickens edited, Household Words. Dedicated to his own children, it tells the story of England from ancient times through the ascension of Queen Victoria, and was considered so authoritative that it was part of the school curriculum in England through World War II.
First published in 1905, "A Little Princess" is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett's most beloved stories. Expanded from an earlier serialized short story entitled "Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's," it is the story of young girl named Sara who is enrolled by her father, Captain Richard Crewe, a wealthy English widower, at Miss Minchin's boarding school for girls in London. Because of her father's wealth Sara enjoys a life of luxury and convenience which abruptly comes to an end when she learns that her father has passed away following an unfortunate turn of events that leaves him penniless. The Headmistress, Miss Minchin, who secretly despises Sara, but pretends otherwise while she is wealthy, becomes infuriated over a large unpaid bill left by her father's passing and consequently strips Sara of almost all her belongings and forces her to live in a cold and poorly furnished attic, making her earn her keep by working as an errand girl. To survive those hard times Sara imagines herself to be a little princess as she awaits her rescue from a mysterious benefactor. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper and includes the original illustrations by Ethel Franklin Betts.
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