Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Version 3)
Nicholas Nickleby was Dickens's third novel following on from Pickwick Papers and Oliver twist. It has a cast of wonderful characters that include Wackford Squeers, the reprehensible and villainous headmaster whose reign of terror at his school in Yorkshire resulted in the abuse and deaths of many of his unwanted and orphaned children, Mr Vincent Crummles and his hilariously inept touring company, the munificent Cheeryble brothers, Ralph Nickleby, Nicholas's uncle, a mean spirited man who is driven by avarice and irrational hatred of his nephew, Smike a boy brutalised by Squeers and his family leaving him mentally and physically handicapped and Mrs Nickleby, Nicholas’s mother, who is pretentiously genteel and somewhat garrulous. There are many more finely drawn characters who combine to make this not only a comic masterpiece of the period but more than one love story threads its way through the dialogue. Probably what we would call today a ‘Romacom’ and as such Nicholas Nickleby never ceases to delight. (Summary by Peter Keeble)
Chapter 1- Introduces All The Rest
Of Mr Ralph Nickleby, And His Establishments . . .
Mr Ralph Nickleby receives sad tidings of his brother . . .The reader is informed how he liked Nicholas . . .
Nicholas and his Uncle . . . wait upon Mr Wackford Squeers, the Yorkshire Schoolmaster
Nicholas starts for Yorkshire. Of his Leave-taking and his Fellow-Travellers . . .
In which the Occurrence of the Accident . . . affords an Opportunity . . .to tell Stories against each other
Mr and Mrs Squeers at Home
Of the Internal Economy of Dotheboys Hall
Of Miss Squeers, Mrs Squeers, Master Squeers, and Mr Squeers . . .
How Mr Ralph Nickleby provided for his Niece and Sister-in-Law
Newman Noggs inducts Mrs and Miss Nickleby into their New Dwelling in the City
Whereby the Reader will be enabled to trace the further course of Miss Fanny Squeer's Love . . .
Nicholas varies the Monotony of Dothebys Hall . . .
Having the Misfortune to treat of none but Common People . . .
Acquaints the Reader with the Cause and Origin of the Interruption . . .
Nicholas seeks to employ himself in a New Capacity . . .
Follows the Fortunes of Miss Nickleby
Miss Knag, after doting on Kate Nickleby . . . makes up her Mind to hate her for evermore . . .
Descriptive of a Dinner at Mr Ralph Nickleby's . . .
Wherein Nicholas at length encounters his Uncle . . . His Resolution.
Madam Mantalini finds herself in a Situation . . . and Miss Nickleby finds herself in no Situation at all
Nicholas, accompanied by Smike, sallies forth to seek his Fortune . . .
Treats of the Company of Mr Vincent Crummles, and of his Affairs, Domestic and Theatrical
Of the Great Bespeak for Miss Snevellicci . . .
Concerning a young Lady from London . . . and an elderly Admirer who follows in her Train . . .
Is fraught with some Danger to Miss Nickleby's Peace of Mind
Mrs Nickleby becomes acquainted with Messrs Pyke and Pluck . . .
Miss Nickleby, rendered desperate by the Persecution of Sir Mulberry Hawk . . . appeals. . . to her Uncle for Protection
Of the Proceedings of Nicholas, and certain Internal Divisions in the Company . . .
Festivities are held in honour of Nicholas . . .
Of Ralph Nickleby and Newman Noggs . . .
Relating chiefly to some remarkable Conversation, and some remarkable Proceedings . . .
In which Mr. Ralph Nickleby is relieved, by a very expeditious Process, from all Commerce with his Relations
Wherein Mr. Ralph Nickleby is visited by Persons with whom the Reader has been already made acquainted
Smike becomes known to Mrs. Nickleby and Kate. Nicholas also meets with new Acquaintances . . .
Private and confidential; relating to Family Matters . . . Mr Kenwigs underwent violent Agitation . . . Mrs. Kenwigs was as well as could be expected
Nicholas finds further Favour in the Eyes of the brothers Cheeryble and Mr Timothy Linkinwater . . .
Comprises certain Particulars arising out of a Visit of Condolence . . . Smike unexpectedly encounters a very old Friend . . .
In which another old Friend encounters Smike, very opportunely . . .
In which Nicholas falls in Love. . . .
Containing some Romantic Passages between Mrs. Nickleby and the Gentleman in the Small-clothes next Door
Illustrative of the convivial Sentiment, that the best of Friends must sometimes part
Officiates as a kind of Gentleman Usher, in bringing various People together
Mr. Ralph Nickleby cuts an old Acquaintance . .
Containing Matter of a surprising Kind
Throws some Light upon Nicholas's Love, but whether for Good or Evil the Reader must determine
Mr. Ralph Nickleby has some confidential Intercourse with another old Friend. . .
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Vincent Crummles, and positively his last Appearance on this Stage
Chronicles the further Proceedings of the Nickleby Family, and the Sequel of the Adventure of the Gentleman in the Small-clothes
Involves a serious Catastrophe
The Project of Mr. Ralph Nickleby and his Friend approaching a successful Issue, becomes unexpectedly known to another Party . . .
Nicholas despairs of rescuing Madeline Bray . . .
Containing the further Progress of the Plot contrived by Mr. Ralph Nickleby and Mr. Arthur Gride
The Crisis of the Project and its Result
Of Family Matters, Cares, Hopes, Disappointments, and Sorrows
Ralph Nickleby, baffled by his Nephew in his late Design, hatches a Scheme of Retaliation . . .
How Ralph Nickleby's Auxiliary went about his Work, and how he prospered with it
In which one Scene of this History is closed
The Plots begin to fail, and Doubts and Dangers to disturb the Plotter
The Dangers thicken, and the Worst is Told
Wherein Nicholas and his Sister forfeit the good Opinion of all worldly and prudent People
Ralph makes one last Appointment—and keeps it
The Brothers Cheeryble make various Declarations for themselves and others . . .
An old Acquaintance is recognised . . . and Dotheboys Hall breaks up for ever