The Railway Alphabet Book

These pages are from The Railway Alphabet, an educational book for children. The book marries images from the industrial world with the simplicity of a lesson on ABC. In Hard Times, Dickens puts the regimentation of children, exemplified by Gradgrind's promotion of 'facts', at the heart of the novel. In the fictional Coketown, regulation, rationality and industrialisation threaten to overshadow the joys of the child's natural imagination.