'I plainly see to what foul uses all this money will be put ...sowing perjury, hatred, and lies among near kindred, where there should be nothing but love'. Old Martin Chuzzlewit, in despair at a family more interested in his wealth than his wellbeing, drives out his grandson and namesake. While the younger Martin leaves to make his own way in the world, love of money drives the hypocritical Pecksniff into scheming his way closer to the older man, and compels Jonas Chuzzlewit to even darker deeds. Dickens thought Martin Chuzzlewit 'in a hundred points immeasurably the best of my stories'. A sinister, funny novel of greed, selfishness, blackmail and murder, it also sees Dickens' scathing moral sense make the voyage to America. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. He travelled extensively and wrote Martin Chuzzlewit after a highly successful tour of the United States - his derisive satire of American boosterism is extremely funny, but was viewed by many of his American readers as an outrageous betrayal. The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood are also published in the Penguin English Library.