Nicholas Nickleby

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The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby  (1839) 
by Charles Dickens
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, (or Nicholas Nickleby for short) is a comic novel of Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens' third novel. The lengthy novel centres around the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies. His Uncle Ralph, who thinks Nicholas will never amount to anything, plays the role of an antagonist.
— Excerpted from The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

This edition is taken from Project Gutenberg and The University of Adelaide. The full title and subtitle is The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, containing a Faithful Account of the Fortunes, Misfortunes, Uprisings, Downfallings and Complete Career of the Nickelby Family.

Table of Contents[edit]

  • Preface— Author's Preface
  • Chapter 1— Introduces all the Rest
  • Chapter 2— Of Mr Ralph Nickleby, and his Establishments, and his Undertakings, and of a great Joint Stock Company of vast national Importance
  • Chapter 3— Mr Ralph Nickleby receives Sad Tidings of his Brother, but bears up nobly against the Intelligence communicated to him. The Reader is informed how he liked Nicholas, who is herein introduced, and how kindly he proposed to make his Fortune at once.
  • Chapter 4— Nicholas and his Uncle (to secure the Fortune without loss of time) wait upon Mr Wackford Squeers, the Yorkshire Schoolmaster
  • Chapter 5— Nicholas starts for Yorkshire. Of his Leave-taking and his Fellow-Travellers, and what befell them on the Road
  • Chapter 6— In which the Occurrence of the Accident mentioned in the last Chapter, affords an Opportunity to a couple of Gentlemen to tell Stories against each other
  • Chapter 7— Mr and Mrs Squeers at Home
  • Chapter 8— Of the Internal Economy of Dotheboys Hall
  • Chapter 9— Of Miss Squeers, Mrs Squeers, Master Squeers, and Mr Squeers; and of various Matters and Persons connected no less with the Squeerses than Nicholas Nickleby
  • Chapter 10— How Mr Ralph Nickleby provided for his Niece and Sister-in-Law
  • Chapter 11— Newman Noggs inducts Mrs and Miss Nickleby into their New Dwelling in the City
  • Chapter 12— Whereby the Reader will be enabled to trace the further course of Miss Fanny Squeer's Love, and to ascertain whether it ran smooth or otherwise
  • Chapter 13— Nicholas varies the Monotony of Dothebys Hall by a most vigorous and remarkable proceeding, which leads to Consequences of some Importance
  • Chapter 14— Having the Misfortune to treat of none but Common People, is necessarily of a Mean and Vulgar Character
  • Chapter 15— Acquaints the Reader with the Cause and Origin of the Interruption described in the last Chapter, and with some other Matters necessary to be known
  • Chapter 16— Nicholas seeks to employ himself in a New Capacity, and being unsuccessful, accepts an engagement as Tutor in a Private Family
  • Chapter 17— Follows the Fortunes of Miss Nickleby
  • Chapter 18— Miss Knag, after doting on Kate Nickleby for three whole Days, makes up her Mind to hate her for evermore. The Causes which led Miss Knag to form this Resolution.
  • Chapter 19— Descriptive of a Dinner at Mr Ralph Nickleby's, and of the Manner in which the Company entertained themselves, before Dinner, at Dinner, and after Dinner
  • Chapter 20— Wherein Nicholas at length encounters his Uncle, to whom he expresses his Sentiments with much Candour. His Resolution.
  • Chapter 21— Madam Mantalini finds herself in a Situation of some Difficulty, and Miss Nickleby finds herself in no Situation at all
  • Chapter 22— Nicholas, accompanied by Smike, sallies forth to seek his Fortune. He encounters Mr Vincent Crummles; and who he was, is herein made manifest
  • Chapter 23— Treats of the Company of Mr Vincent Crummles, and of his Affairs, Domestic and Theatrical
  • Chapter 24— Of the Great Bespeak for Miss Snevellicci, and the first Appearance of Nicholas upon any Stage
  • Chapter 25— Concerning a young Lady from London, who joins the Company, and an elderly Admirer who follows in her Train; with an affecting Ceremony consequent on their Arrival
  • Chapter 26— Is fraught with some Danger to Miss Nickleby's Peace of Mind
  • Chapter 27— Mrs Nickleby becomes acquainted with Messrs Pyke and Pluck, whose Affection and Interest are beyond all Bounds
  • Chapter 28— Miss Nickleby, rendered desperate by the Persecution of Sir Mulberry Hawk, and the Complicated Difficulties and Distresses which surround her, appeals, as a last resource, to her Uncle for Protection
  • Chapter 29— Of the Proceedings of Nicholas, and certain Internal Divisions in the Company of Mr Vincent Crummles
  • Chapter 30— Festivities are held in honour of Nicholas, who suddenly withdraws himself from the Society of Mr Vincent Crummles and his Theatrical Companions
  • Chapter 31— Of Ralph Nickleby and Newman Noggs, and some wise Precautions, the success or failure of which will appear in the Sequel
  • Chapter 32— Relating chiefly to some remarkable Conversation, and some remarkable Proceedings to which it gives rise
  • Chapter 33— In which Mr Ralph Nickleby is relieved, by a very expeditious Process, from all Commerce with his Relations
  • Chapter 34— Wherein Mr Ralph Nickleby is visited by Persons with whom the Reader has been already made acquainted
  • Chapter 35— Smike becomes known to Mrs Nickleby and Kate. Nicholas also meets with new Acquaintances. Brighter Days seem to dawn upon the Family
  • Chapter 36— Private and confidential; relating to Family Matters. Showing how Mr Kenwigs underwent violent Agitation, and how Mrs Kenwigs was as well as could be expected
  • Chapter 37— Nicholas finds further Favour in the Eyes of the brothers Cheeryble and Mr Timothy Linkinwater. The brothers give a Banquet on a great Annual Occasion. Nicholas, on returning Home from it, receives a mysterious and important Disclosure from the Lips of Mrs Nickleby
  • Chapter 38— Comprises certain Particulars arising out of a Visit of Condolence, which may prove important hereafter. Smike unexpectedly encounters a very old Friend, who invites him to his House, and will take no Denial
  • Chapter 39— In which another old Friend encounters Smike, very opportunely and to some Purpose
  • Chapter 40— In which Nicholas falls in Love. He employs a Mediator, whose Proceedings are crowned with unexpected Success, excepting in one solitary Particular
  • Chapter 41— Containing some Romantic Passages between Mrs Nickleby and the Gentleman in the Small-clothes next Door
  • Chapter 42— Illustrative of the convivial Sentiment, that the best of Friends must sometimes part
  • Chapter 43— Officiates as a kind of Gentleman Usher, in bringing various People together
  • Chapter 44— Mr Ralph Nickleby cuts an old Acquaintance. It would also appear from the Contents hereof, that a Joke, even between Husband and Wife, may be sometimes carried too far
  • Chapter 45— Containing Matter of a surprising Kind
  • Chapter 46— Throws some Light upon Nicholas's Love; but whether for Good or Evil the Reader must determine
  • Chapter 47— Mr Ralph Nickleby has some confidential Intercourse with another old Friend. They concert between them a Project, which promises well for both
  • Chapter 48— Being for the Benefit of Mr Vincent Crummles, and positively his last Appearance on this Stage
  • Chapter 49— Chronicles the further Proceedings of the Nickleby Family, and the Sequel of the Adventure of the Gentleman in the Small-clothes
  • Chapter 50— Involves a serious Catastrophe
  • Chapter 51— The Project of Mr Ralph Nickleby and his Friend approaching a successful Issue, becomes unexpectedly known to another Party, not admitted into their Confidence
  • Chapter 52— Nicholas despairs of rescuing Madeline Bray, but plucks up his Spirits again, and determines to attempt it. Domestic Intelligence of the Kenwigses and Lillyvicks
  • Chapter 53— Containing the further Progress of the Plot contrived by Mr Ralph Nickleby and Mr Arthur Gride
  • Chapter 54— The Crisis of the Project and its Result
  • Chapter 55— Of Family Matters, Cares, Hopes, Disappointments, and Sorrows
  • Chapter 56— Ralph Nickleby, baffled by his Nephew in his late Design, hatches a Scheme of Retaliation which Accident suggests to him, and takes into his Counsels a tried Auxiliary
  • Chapter 57— How Ralph Nickleby's Auxiliary went about his Work, and how he prospered with it
  • Chapter 58— In which one Scene of this History is closed
  • Chapter 59— The Plots begin to fail, and Doubts and Dangers to disturb the Plotter
  • Chapter 60— The Dangers thicken, and the Worst is told
  • Chapter 61— Wherein Nicholas and his Sister forfeit the good Opinion of all worldly and prudent People
  • Chapter 62— Ralph makes one last Appointment--and keeps it
  • Chapter 63— The Brothers Cheeryble make various Declarations for themselves and others. Tim Linkinwater makes a Declaration for himself
  • Chapter 64— An old Acquaintance is recognised under melancholy Circumstances, and Dotheboys Hall breaks up for ever
  • Chapter 65— Conclusion
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.