Hard Times Readalong

Hard Times Readalong

We’re reading Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in its original weekly format, from the 1 April to the 12th August 2020. Each instalment is online and free, so come join us!

How it works


Dickens originally published his novels in instalments. Hard Times was published in 20 weekly parts in Dickens’s journal Household Words from 1 April to 12 August 1854. In 2020 we are going to follow the original publication dates, and share our views as the story unfolds.

You can read each instalment – only when the ‘publication’ date arrives, at Dickens Journals Online – the first instalment is here ready for you to read on 1 April – and I’ll share a link to each new instalment week by week. Then, immediately after, I’ll set up a new post here where you can share your comments on the story. What do you find interesting? What bits do you want to know more about? And what do you think might happen next?

The rules:

1. No spoilers! Many people here will be reading the story for the first time. And no peeking ahead at the next week’s instalment either!

2. All opinions are valid – it doesn’t matter if you’re a scholar, an avid reader, or if this is your first Dickens novel – the aim of the group is to explore the text together and recapture the sense of that first audience reading this story as it unfolds.

3. Keep it polite people!

6 thoughts on “Hard Times Readalong

  1. A wonderful idea, Dr Pete! Looking forward to getting started. This project could not have started at a better (hard) time.

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    1. Hi Craig – good to have you on board! Hopefully tales of a grim, urban cityscape will be just the thing to cheer us all up…

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    1. Hi Adam – certainly! I’ll be penning an opening post next week to get everyone ready to go on Wednesday, and will include both the DJO link and chapter numbers up so readers can do whichever they prefer.

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