Nicholas Nickleby; or, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is a novel by Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens' third novel.
The novel centers around the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies. His Uncle Ralph, who thinks Nicholas will never amount to anything, plays the role of an antagonist.
Nicholas Nickleby is Dickens' third published novel. He returned to his favourite publishers and to the format that was considered so successful with The Pickwick Papers. The story first appeared in monthly parts, after which it was issued in one volume. The style is considered to be episodic and humorous. Dickens began writing 'Nickleby' while still working on Oliver Twist and while the mood is considerably lighter; his depiction of the Yorkshire school run by Wackford Squeers is as moving and influential as had been the workhouse and criminal underclass in Twist.
'Nickleby' marks a new development in a further sense as it is the first of Dickens' romances. When it was published the book was an immediate and complete success, and established Dickens's lasting reputation.
The cruelty of a Yorkshire schoolmaster named William Shaw became the basis for Dickens's brutal character of Wackford Squeers. Dickens visited his school, and based the school section of Nicholas Nickleby on his visit.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters.
Many of his novels, with their recurrent concern for social reform, first appeared in magazines in serialized form, a popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who completed entire novels before serialization, Dickens often created the episodes as they were being serialized. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next installment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print.
His work has been praised for its realism, mastery of prose, comic genius and unique personalities by writers such as George Gissing, Leo Tolstoy, and G. K. Chesterton; though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, criticized it for sentimentality and implausibility.
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