by Charles Dickens
A masterpiece that courted controversy on publication with its scathing portrayal of 19th-century America
Wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit is surrounded by a host of grasping, unscrupulous relatives, and he suspects the family vices of selfishness and greed are already showing in his grandson. The younger Martin is therefore cast out upon the world to learn to fend for himself. Apprenticed to the oily hypocrite Peckniff, he meets both the sweet-tempered Tom Pinch and the irrepressible Mark Tapley, with whom he sets forth to America to find his fortune. Written after a disappointing trip to America, Dickens created some of his most gleefully repulsive and enduring characters in this tale of corruption and virtue, murder and unrequited love.