Advice about strikes 2012 sees the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens. John Benton I am just reading his novel Hard Times, set against the backdrop of the friction between the masters and the workers in the fictional industrial conurbation of ‘Coketown’. subscribe now Join today to gain access to the rest of this article and many others. more info login If you are already a subscriber, log in to continue. log in access code If you have an access code, enter it here: Go free trial Get free access for 14 days: Sign up Click here to find out how we take care of your personal data.