Our Mutual Friend

by Charles Dickens


Our Mutual Friend, written in 1864–1865, is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining savage satire with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, quoting from the character Bella Wilfer in the book, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life". In the opening chapter, a young man is on his way to receive his inheritance, which, according to his father's will, he can only claim if he marries Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he has never met. However, before he can arrive, a body is found in the Thames and identified as him. The money passes on, instead, to the Boffins, and the effects spread throughout various corners of London society.
Most reviewers in the 1860s continued to praise Dickens's skill as a writer in general, but did not review this novel in detail. Some found the plot both too complex and not well laid out. The Times of London found the first few chapters did not draw the reader into the characters. In the 20th century, however, reviewers began to find much to approve in the later novels of Dickens, including Our Mutual Friend. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, some reviewers suggested that Dickens was, in fact, experimenting with structure, and that the characters considered somewhat flat and not recognized by the contemporary reviewers were meant rather to be true representations of the Victorian working class and the key to understanding the structure of the society depicted by Dickens in the novel.
Excerpted from Our Mutual Friend on Wikipedia.

person AuthorCharles Dickens
language CountryUnited Kingdom
api GenreLove stories, Psychological fiction, Satire
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverThanks to Canva
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
Reader: Mil Nicholson
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auto_stories Read onlineOur Mutual Friend I, II, III, IV