Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. Hard Times offers a fascinating tapestry of Victorian life. Dickens creates the Victorian industrial city of Coketown, in northern England, and its unforgettable citizens. It is the tragic story of Louisa Gradgrind and her father, Thomas. When Louisa, trapped in a loveless marriage, falls prey to an idle seducer, the crisis forces her father to reconsider his cherished system and he is eventually forced to recognize the value of the human heart in an age of materialism and machinery.