Selected Short Fiction

Introduction by Deborah A. Thomas
Stories of comedy and character from one of Britain's greatest novelists

This witty and amusing collection of short pieces shows Dickens liberated from the more formal and sustained demands of the novel and experimenting with a diverse range of fictional techniques. In his tales of the supernatural, he creates frighteningly believable, spine-tingling stories of prophetic dreams and visions, as well as more fantastical adventures with goblins and apparitions. Impressionistic sketches combine imaginatively heightened travel journals with wry observations of home and abroad, while in his dramatic monologues, Dickens demonstrates his talent for exploring the secret workings of the human mind. These short works display Dickens's exuberant sense of comedy and character as his imagination is given free rein.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter, and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836–37) he achieved immediate fame. In a few years he was easily the most popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838–39), and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–44) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852–53), Hard Times (1854), and Little Dorrit (1855–57), which reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860–61), and Our Mutual Friend (1864–65) complete his major works. View titles by Charles Dickens

About

Stories of comedy and character from one of Britain's greatest novelists

This witty and amusing collection of short pieces shows Dickens liberated from the more formal and sustained demands of the novel and experimenting with a diverse range of fictional techniques. In his tales of the supernatural, he creates frighteningly believable, spine-tingling stories of prophetic dreams and visions, as well as more fantastical adventures with goblins and apparitions. Impressionistic sketches combine imaginatively heightened travel journals with wry observations of home and abroad, while in his dramatic monologues, Dickens demonstrates his talent for exploring the secret workings of the human mind. These short works display Dickens's exuberant sense of comedy and character as his imagination is given free rein.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter, and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836–37) he achieved immediate fame. In a few years he was easily the most popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838–39), and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–44) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852–53), Hard Times (1854), and Little Dorrit (1855–57), which reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British society. A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860–61), and Our Mutual Friend (1864–65) complete his major works. View titles by Charles Dickens

Books for Black History Month

Join Penguin Random House Education in celebrating the contributions of Black authors, creators, and educators. In honor of Black History Month in February, we are highlighting stories about the history of Black America, the experiences of Black women, celebrations of Black music, and essential books by Black writers. Find more books from Penguin Random House:

Read more