The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby


Charles Dickens


  • Author’s Preface
  • Chapter I
    Introduces all the rest.
  • Chapter II
    Of Mr. Ralph Nickleby, and his Establishments, and his Undertakings, and of a great Joint Stock Company of vast national Importance.
  • Chapter III
    Mr. Ralph Nickleby receives sad tidings of his Brother, but bears up nobly against the intelligence communicated to him. The Reader is informed how he liked Nicholas, who is herein introduced, and how kindly he proposed to make his fortune at once.
  • Chapter IV
    Nicholas and his uncle (to secure the fortune without loss of time) wait upon Mr. Wackford Squeers, the Yorkshire Schoolmaster.
  • Chapter V
    Nicholas starts for Yorkshire. Of his leave-taking and his fellow-travellers, and what befell them on the Road.
  • Chapter VI
    In which the occurrence of the accident mentioned in the last chapter, affords an opportunity to a couple of gentlemen to tell stories against each other.
  • Chapter VII
    Mr. and Mrs. Squeers at home.
  • Chapter VIII
    Of the internal economy of Dotheboys Hall.
  • Chapter IX
    Of Miss Squeers, Mrs. Squeers, Master Squeers, and Mr. Squeers; and of various matters and persons connected no less with the Squeerses than Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Chapter X
    How Mr. Ralph Nickleby provided for his niece and sister-in-law.
  • Chapter XI
    Newman Noggs inducts Mrs. and Miss Nickleby into their new dwelling in the city.
  • Chapter XII
    Whereby the Reader will be enabled to trace the further course of Miss Fanny Squeer’s love, and to ascertain whether it ran smooth or otherwise.
  • Chapter XIII
    Nicholas varies the monotony of Dothebys Hall by a most vigorous and remarkable proceeding, which leads to consequences of some importance.
  • Chapter XIV
    Having the misfortune to treat of none but common people, is necessarily of a mean and vulgar character.
  • Chapter XV
    Acquaints the reader with the cause and origin of the interruption described in the last chapter, and with some other matters necessary to be known.
  • Chapter XVI
    Nicholas seeks to employ himself in a new capacity, and being unsuccessful, accepts an engagement as tutor in a private family.
  • Chapter XVII
    Follows the fortunes of Miss Nickleby.
  • Chapter XVIII
    Miss Knag, after doting on Kate Nickleby for three whole days, makes up her mind to hate her for evermore. The causes which led Miss Knag to form this resolution.
  • Chapter XIX
    Descriptive of a dinner at Mr. Ralph Nickleby’s, and of the manner in which the company entertained themselves, before dinner, at dinner, and after dinner.
  • Chapter XX
    Wherein Nicholas at length encounters his uncle, to whom he expresses his sentiments with much candour. His resolution.
  • Chapter XXI
    Madam Mantalini finds herself in a situation of some difficulty, and Miss Nickleby finds herself in no situation at all.
  • Chapter XXII
    Nicholas, accompanied by Smike, sallies forth to seek his fortune. He encounters Mr. Vincent Crummles; and who he was, is herein made manifest.
  • Chapter XXIII
    Treats of the company of Mr. Vincent Crummles, and of his affairs, domestic and theatrical.
  • Chapter XXIV
    Of the great bespeak for Miss Snevellicci, and the first appearance of Nicholas upon any stage.
  • Chapter XXV
    Concerning a young lady from London, who joins the company, and an elderly admirer who follows in her train; with an affecting ceremony consequent on their arrival.
  • Chapter XXVI
    Is fraught with some danger to Miss Nickleby’s peace of mind.
  • Chapter XXVII
    Mrs. Nickleby becomes acquainted with Messrs Pyke and Pluck, whose affection and interest are beyond all bounds.
  • Chapter XXVIII
    Miss Nickleby, rendered desperate by the persecution of Sir Mulberry Hawk, and the complicated difficulties and distresses which surround her, appeals, as a last resource, to her uncle for protection.
  • Chapter XXIX
    Of the proceedings of Nicholas, and certain internal divisions in the company of Mr. Vincent Crummles.
  • Chapter XXX
    Festivities are held in honour of Nicholas, who suddenly withdraws himself from the society of Mr. Vincent Crummles and his theatrical companions.
  • Chapter XXXI
    Of Ralph Nickleby and Newman Noggs, and some wise precautions, the success or failure of which will appear in the sequel.
  • Chapter XXXII
    Relating chiefly to some remarkable Conversation, and some remarkable proceedings to which it gives rise.
  • Chapter XXXIII
    In which Mr. Ralph Nickleby is relieved, by a very expeditious process, from all commerce with his relations.
  • Chapter XXXIV
    Wherein Mr. Ralph Nickleby is visited by persons with whom the reader has been already made acquainted.
  • Chapter XXXV
    Smike becomes known to Mrs. Nickleby and Kate. Nicholas also meets with new acquaintances. Brighter days seem to dawn upon the family.
  • Chapter XXXVI
    Private and confidential; relating to family matters. Showing how Mr Kenwigs underwent violent agitation, and how Mrs. Kenwigs was as well as could be expected.
  • Chapter XXXVII
    Nicholas finds further favour in the eyes of the brothers Cheeryble and Mr. Timothy Linkinwater. The brothers give a banquet on a great annual occasion. Nicholas, on returning home from it, receives a mysterious and important disclosure from the lips of Mrs. Nickleby.
  • Chapter XXXVIII
    Comprises certain particulars arising out of a visit of condolence, which may prove important hereafter. Smike unexpectedly encounters a very old friend, who invites him to his house, and will take no denial.
  • Chapter XXXIX
    In which another old friend encounters Smike, very opportunely and to some purpose.
  • Chapter XL
    In which Nicholas falls in love. He employs a mediator, whose proceedings are crowned with unexpected success, excepting in one solitary particular.
  • Chapter XLI
    Containing some romantic passages between Mrs. Nickleby and the gentleman in the small-clothes next door.
  • Chapter XLII
    Illustrative of the convivial sentiment, that the best of friends must sometimes part.
  • Chapter XLIII
    Officiates as a kind of gentleman usher, in bringing various people together.
  • Chapter XLIV
    Mr. Ralph Nickleby cuts an old acquaintance. It would also appear from the contents hereof, that a joke, even between husband and wife, may be sometimes carried too far.
  • Chapter XLV
    Containing matter of a surprising kind.
  • Chapter XLVI
    Throws some light upon Nicholas’s love; but whether for good or evil the reader must determine.
  • Chapter XLVII
    Mr. Ralph Nickleby has some confidential intercourse with another old friend. They concert between them a project, which promises well for both.
  • Chapter XLVIII
    Being for the benefit of Mr. Vincent Crummles, and positively his last appearance on this stage.
  • Chapter XLIX
    Chronicles the further proceedings of the Nickleby family, and the sequel of the adventure of the gentleman in the small-clothes.
  • Chapter L
    Involves a serious catastrophe.
  • Chapter LI
    The project of Mr. Ralph Nickleby and his friend approaching a successful issue, becomes unexpectedly known to another party, not admitted into their confidence.
  • Chapter LII
    Nicholas despairs of rescuing Madeline Bray, but plucks up his spirits again, and determines to attempt it. Domestic intelligence of the Kenwigses and Lillyvicks.
  • Chapter LIII
    Containing the further progress of the plot contrived by Mr. Ralph Nickleby and Mr. Arthur Gride.
  • Chapter LIV
    The crisis of the project and its result.
  • Chapter LV
    Of family matters, cares, hopes, disappointments, and sorrows.
  • Chapter LVI
    Ralph Nickleby, baffled by his nephew in his late design, hatches a scheme of retaliation which accident suggests to him, and takes into his counsels a tried auxiliary.
  • Chapter LVII
    How Ralph Nickleby’s auxiliary went about his work, and how he prospered with it.
  • Chapter LVIII
    In which one scene of this history is closed.
  • Chapter LIX
    The plots begin to fail, and doubts and dangers to disturb the plotter.
  • Chapter LX
    The dangers thicken, and the worst is told.
  • Chapter LXI
    Wherein Nicholas and his sister forfeit the good opinion of all worldly and prudent people.
  • Chapter LXII
    Ralph makes one last appointment—and keeps it.
  • Chapter LXIII
    The Brothers Cheeryble make various declarations for themselves and others. Tim Linkinwater makes a declaration for himself.
  • Chapter LXIV
    An old acquaintance is recognised under melancholy circumstances, and Dotheboys Hall breaks up for ever.
  • Chapter LXV

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