Now what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.

Opening words of Hard Times, set in a schoolroom, where Thomas Gradgrind is giving his views of his rather mechanical approach to education to the schoolmaster.

Hard Times – For These Times (more commonly now known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854. The book appraises English society and is aimed at highlighting the social and economic pressures of the times. It was Charles Dickens’s only novel about the industrial working class.



The novel was published as a serial in Dickens’s weekly publication, Household Words. The novel was serialised, in twenty weekly parts, between 1 April and 12 August 1854. It sold well, and a complete volume was published in August, and divided into three parts, titled “Sowing“, “Reaping” and “Garnering“. Another related novel, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, was also published in Household Words.


Read Hard Times.

You can read the whole of Hard Times on The Circumlocution Office. If you want the location of particular Hard Times pages or chapters for reference or academic purposes you can use our study links page.

Use the navigation bar to move between the chapters of the novel.