- Hard Times is the most "Victorian" novel among the others by great Charles Dickens. It is the novel where under an external sentimentality there is rough furiousness of the realist writer, to whom imperfection of a human nature and darkness of a human soul are not the news, but still provoke rejection. Friendship and betrayal, love and hate, opposition of the children of the fortune and forgotten men are just some plot lines of the novel. Hard Times is a truly all embracing epochal novel where the history of the whole country and era is depicted in the story of a small town.Hard Times is a novel by Charles Dickens, published in 1854. It is significant for being the shortest of his full novels. The book is one of a number of state-of-the-nation novels published around the same time, another being North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which aimed to highlight the social and economic pressures some people were under. The novel is unusual, in that it is not set in London, as is Dickens' usual wont, but the fictitious Victorian industrial town of Coketown. It has met mixed critical response from a diverse range of critics, such F. R. Leavis, George Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Macaulay. This was usual for Dickens' treatment of trade unions, and the pessimism about the division between capitalistic millowners and the undervalued workers, after the Industrial Revolution, set in the Victorian era of Britain.
- This story of class conflict in Victorian England serves as a powerful critique of the social injustices that plagued the Industrial Revolution.