One of the BBC’s ‘100 Novels That Shaped Our World’
‘The great poet of the city. He was created by London’ Peter Ackroyd
Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance – Old Harmon’s profitable dust heaps – and its legatees: young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults. With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social-climbing Veneerings; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. Dickens’s last completed novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and of the corrupting power of money.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Adrian Poole