The greed of his gamily has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewitt to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and name-sake to make his own way in the world. And so young Martin set out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America. In depicting Martin's journey - an experience that teaches him to question his inherited self-interest and egotism - Dickens created many vividly realized figures: the brutish lout Jonas Chuzzlewit, plotting to gain the family fortune; Martins optimistic manservant Mark Tapley; gentle Tom Pinch; and the drunken and corrupt private nurse Mrs Gamp. With its portrayal of greed, blackmail and murder, and its searing satire on America, Dickens novel is a powerful and blackly comic story of hypocrisy and redemption.
In her introduction, Patricia Ingham examines characterization, the central themes and Dickens depiction of America. This edition also includes two new prefaces, a chronology, updated further reading, appendices notes and the original illustrations.