Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

Classics Quoted: 7 Bell-Ringers from Charles Dickens

Stephen Eldridge, TeachHUB

7 Bell-Ringers from Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens's body of work is widely recognized as among the finest ever produced in English literature.

It's not surprising, then, that his novels are required reading in English classes across the country. The question is: Which of Dickens's many classics are you teaching? Well, here at TeachHUB we believe in being thorough--so here are seven bell-ringers for seven of Dickens's most-loved works. Even if you're not teaching Dickens this year, we hope his words of wisdom get your students thinking about the power of great literature.

1. The Pickwick Papers (1837)

Dickens's first novel, like many of his others, was published serially in many volumes. Also like many of his other novels, it highlights Dickens's talent for turning serious, even grim, situations into humor.

The Pickwick Papers

2. Oliver Twist (1839)

Oliver Twist is a work filled with classic archetypes, and at times unpleasant stereotypes. But it's also a work that delves into how superficial trappings can become one's destiny.

Oliver Twist

3. Nicholas Nickleby (1839)

Dickens is remembered not only for his talent with prose, but for turning that talent to incisive social satire. Rarely is that more apparent than in Nicholas Nickleby.

Nicholas Nickleby

4. David Copperfield (1850)

David Copperfield is thought to be the most closely autobiographical of Dickens's novels. He's even called it his "favorite child." This may be why the books seems markedly introspective.

David Copperfield

5. Bleak House (1853)

Bleak House may not be quite as familiar to students as Oliver Twist or A Tale of Two Cities, but it's sometimes considered the best example of Dickens's writing.

Bleak House

6. A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Although the iconic, and often misinterpreted, opening of A Tale of Two Cities is instantly recognizable, we prefer this poignant consideration from what may Dickens's signature work.

A Tale of Two Cities

7. Great Expectations (1861)

Some of Dickens's most complex and enduring characters--—and insights into human nature—are to be found in this classic.

Great Expectations