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Our Mutual Friend


Our Mutual Friend


Charles Dickens’s last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend, a multifaceted story set around the wharfs of the river Thames in London encompasses the great themes of his earlier works: the foolish pretensions of the nouveaux riche, and the unfailing power of wealth to corrupt all who crave it.

Our Mutual Friend revolves around the inheritance of a dust-heap—where the rich throw their trash away.

When the body of John Harmon, the dust-heap’s expected heir, is found in the Thames, fortunes change hands unexpectedly, raising to new heights “Noddy” Boffin, a kindly clerk who becomes “the Golden Dustman.”

With its wonderful cast of characters and numerous subplots, Our Mutual Friend is one of Dickens’s most satisfying novels, a story of love, betrayal, murder, family, secrecy, false identity, madness, inheritance, revenge and money.

“I can’t stop thinking about those bodies in the river. Count them at the novel’s end — the ones who drown and the ones who survive — and you’ll see what a feat Dickens has performed, how intricately he has plotted (in both senses, writing and scheming) his resolution. Consider the fascinating Lizzie Hexam, how she unwittingly draws two men into violent passion and rivalry; consider the friendship of Mortimer Lightwood and Eugene Wrayburn and all that goes unspoken between them. They are among Dickens’ greatest creations.”

—Radhika Jones, Time Magazine


CHARLES DICKENS (1812-1870) transformed the art of fiction. The author of numerous novels and short stories, including Great Expectations, A Tale Of Two Cities, David Copperfield, and Bleak House, he is considered a literary colossus, and a central figure in the development of the modern novel.


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