Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

$0.00 for first 30 days

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
John Halifax, Gentleman cover art

John Halifax, Gentleman

By: Dinah Craik Peter
Narrated by: Peter Newcombe Joyce
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £21.99

Buy Now for £21.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

Rogue Herries cover art
Romola cover art
The Nether World cover art
An Old-Fashioned Girl cover art
The Mysteries of Udolpho cover art
Shirley cover art
Rural Rides cover art
Camilla cover art
Peter West cover art
Classic Romance cover art
David Copperfield cover art
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens & Peter and Wendy cover art
The Return of the Native cover art
The Kreutzer Sonata cover art
Middlemarch cover art
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: A Radio Dramatization cover art

Summary

The greatest romantic narrative novel of the early 19th century, John Halifax, Gentleman tells the story of an orphan boy whose first words in the story are, 'Sir, I want work; may I earn a penny?'

By hard work, diligent study and an unshakeable faith in his God, John attains wealth and happiness, despite much hardship and heartbreak throughout his life.

The story chronicles the class movement of the time and gives us a remarkable description of social, political and industrial change.

Set in Gloucestershire in the heart of England and told by Phineas, his soul mate and lifelong friend, who observes John through all his glorious moments, self-doubt and resolution, the story is simple, uplifting and heroic. It is a detailed study of a man and his family that also presents the listener with a broad view of Britain during one of its most troubled times.

A genuine classic, most entertaining and certainly a tale which lives up to the appellation, epic in its conception and delivery. John Halifax, Gentleman was first published in 1856. This is the first unabridged recording of Dinah Craik's masterpiece.

Public Domain (P)2007 Assembled Stories

Love Books? You'll Love Audible.

Transform your day

Transform your day

Replace endless scrolling with endless listening. Chores can be fun.

Listen everywhere

Listen everywhere

You can’t turn pages while you drive—but you can press play.

Carry your entire Library

Carry your entire Library

Your stories go where you go. Audiobooks don’t weigh a thing.

Listen and learn

Listen and learn

Discover stories that can change your mind, your well-being, and your life.

Reach your reading goals

Reach your reading goals

Download titles to listen offline, wherever you are in the world.

Find your niche

Find your niche

WIth thousands of titles to explore, there’s something for everyone.

Try for £0.00 £7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

What listeners say about John Halifax, Gentleman

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As relevant now

Although set two hundred years ago, Dinah Craik’s close observation of human nature and her spirituality, make the story as relevant for us today in dealing with life, as it was then. John Halifax, Gentleman is the tale of a poor, orphaned son of a gentleman, making his way in early 19c England, with nothing other than his capacity to work and his moral compass to guide him through life’s dramas and crises. By the end of the story he has become a highly respected and wealthy mill owner.

I first read the book forty-three years ago and remember being moved by it so I thought I’d try the Audible version narrated by Peter Joyce. The depiction of the times, the story, and the narration were as moving as my first encounter. A delight.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A “must read”.

I half read, half listened to the excellent book. It is of its time, no doubt, but the Audible rendition makes it easily accessible.
Peter Joyce does a first-rate job of narration. I particularly liked the way, imperceptibly, the voices changed as they got older. Phineas, in particular, as narrator, turns into his father, Abel Fletcher.
The story unfolds slowly and evenly. John Halifax is well fleshed out and the crises are dealt with without fuss or hyperbole.
It also, gently, passes through the various ages of the day. From the persecution of Quakers to the abolition of slavery; it’s all there in the narrative.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very slow storyline

This book is very well narrated and started off quite interesting but began to drag at the half way point. From then on, I did not really enjoy it as the story just got slower and slower until nothing was happening at all.
The book was first published in 1856 and novels of that period are often slow-paced, but compared to the novels of George Elliot and the Bronte sisters this one is far less interesting. But I guess that if you like the works of Thomas Hardy then you might also like those of Dinah Craik.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Novel

I read this book as a teenager and still have my old copy, much-loved and read many times. The story is set in the early 19th century in the Industrial Revolution and encompasses the bread riots over transition to steam powered machinery in the mills. The hero is introduced as an orphan looking for work, hungry and homeless. He is given work at a tannery, and eventually prospers, marries the love of his life and has a family. He remains loyal and true to his high sense of honour and integrity through many hardships in business and family troubles. It is a charming story and I enjoyed listening to it.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!