Charles Dickens

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Variety of settings:
Countryside (The Pickwick Papers), provincial towns, industrial settlements (Hard Times), London (Oliver Twist).
Hard Times (1854): Sufferings of the factory system and the harm done by the utilitarian philosophy in schools: everything was judged by its practical value; Naturalism + symbolism, comic + satirical; Cocktown, industrial city in the north of England built according to the principles of practical utility;
 Main characters: Thomas Gradgrind (teacher), Louisa (marries Bounderby), Tom (steals some money), Sissy Jupe ( spontaneous orphan adopted by Gradgrind), Bitzer (rational, materialist student).
David Copperfield:
Semi-autobiographical; loves, pains and wonders of childhood.
Charles Dickens  Life (1812-1870): Portsmouth, London, forced to work in a factory when 12 due to his father arrest, worked as a clerk (contempt for lawyers and law), comic newspapers, pen name of “Boz”, Sketches by Boz (installments, popular), The Pickwick Papers (first novel, mix of comic and picaresque, installments in UK and US), stroke. Journalist: deeply conscious of social injustice, political incompetence, poverty and class conflicts of Victorian Age. Oliver Twist (1837-38): Orphan brought up in a workhouse and joins a gang of thieves;
Social satire and realism, social issues, pathetic and comic;
Main characters: Oliver (foundling), Mrs Mann (cruel), Mr Bumble (superficial parish officer), Mr Brownlow (benevolent gentleman).