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    This exclusive recording of Martin Chuzzlewit starts with a unique introduction written and narrated by William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa.  

    First published in 1842, Martin Chuzzlewit is the last of Charles Dickens' picaresque novels. Despite poor sales at the time, Dickens considered it his best work, and it is now regarded as one of the most significant literary depictions of 19th-century America.  

    Horrified by the ongoing use of slavery in the self-professed 'land of the free', Dickens returned home after his first trip abroad with an extreme distaste for American laws and, equally, their frequent use of spitting tobacco. Dickens turned to his pen once again and created a story which satirically centres around the selfish and greedy Chuzzlewits.   

    About the book:

    Deeply distressed at thought of his singularly money-minded family circling around his inevitable death bed, when Old Martin Chuzzlewit comes across a young and kindly orphan girl, he immediately decides to take her into his employment. Offering her a comfortable living in exchange for her care and protection, Martin rests easy in the knowledge that her comfort will last only as long as he does; upon his death, Mary the orphan will find herself on the cold and dirty streets from whence she came. To his great dismay, Old Martin's plan is foiled when his own grandson and main heir, Martin Chuzzlewit Junior, declares his undying love for Mary and his consequent intention to marry her.  

    This Audible Original dramatisation follows the Chuzzlewit household from this point on, as relationships are born and tested, old feuds are reignited and the ever-present vultures start to close in. A lesson in the dangers and consequences of looking only after number one, the narrative remains highly relevant to this day and is expertly narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi. 

    About the author: 

    With his father incarcerated, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and set to work in a factory so as to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. These include Hard Times, Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Barnaby Rudge, Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.  

    About the narrator: 

    Sir Derek Jacobi is an English actor and stage director, best known for his illustrious stage career and his appearance in films such as The Day of the Jackal, Gladiator, Gosford Park and, most recently, Murder on the Orient Express. He is the recipient of two Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award and a Primetime Emmy, and in 1994 he was knighted.  

    Sir Derek has also recorded over 100 audiobooks, including Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine, Anthony Horowitz's Moriarty, and many works of classic fiction. A lifelong Dickens fan, Sir Derek is delighted to lend his dulcet tones to this recording of Martin Chuzzlewit as part of Audible's Definitive Dickens collection.

    ©2018 Charles Dickens (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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