The noted English critic F. R. Leavis called Hard Times as a minor classic. He was one of those rare critics who praised the novel. Most critics had criticized the novel. But one should also keep in mind the fact that Charles Dickens was a novelist steeped in the social realist tradition and his novels display a clear sense of social realism. Hard Times is, in fact, a novel that belongs to a sub-genre of the Victorial novel called the 'social problem novel'--a novel that specifically focussed on social problems of the day. The social problem being discussed in this novel is the problem of the present educational system in England and the follies inbuilt into it.