First published in 1843-4, the novel which Dickens considered 'in a hundred points immeasurably the best of my stories' concerns the Chuzzlewit family in all various branches. At the heart of the story is young Martin, who is disowned by his wealthy grandfather and dismissed from the household of the architect Pecksniff, and sets out to make his own way in the world and win the hands of Mary Graham, an orphan raised by his grandfather. Moving from comic absurdity to the darkest corners of human nature, 'Martin Chuzzlewit' is a study in greed, selfishness and hypocrisy, and it contains some of Dickens's most memorable characters - from the villainous Seth Pecksniff and Jonas Chuzzlewit to the selfless Tom Pinch, the 'jolly' Mark Tapley, and the drunken nurse and midwife Sarah Gamp - considered by many to be Dickens's finest comic creation.More
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