Synopses & Reviews
Highly regarded today as one of the greatest novels in English literature, Little Dorrit
presents both a scathing indictment of mid-Victorian England and a devastating insight into the human condition. Examining the many social and mental prisons which incarcerate men and women, the novel also considers the nature of true spiritual freedom. Against a background of administrative and financial scandal, Dickens tells the moving story of the old Marshalsea prisoner who inherits a fortune and his devoted daughter's love for a man who believes he has done with love. He draws widely on the events of his own life and times, yet focuses a powerful imaginative vision which is as universal as it is specific, immediate, and intense. In Little Dorrit
Dickens displays his characteristic mastery of irony and pathos, of satire and comedy, and the novel exemplifies his most mature, ambitious, and effective writing. This edition, which has the definitive Clarendon text, also includes Dickens's working notes and eight of the original illustrations from the first edition by 'Phiz'.
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Thirty years ago there stood . . . in the borough of Southwark . . . the Marshalsea Prison. It had stood there many years before, and it remained there some years afterwards; but it is gone now, and the world is none the worse without it. -- Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
Amy Dorrit's father is not very good with money. She was born in the Marshalsea debtors' prison and has lived there with her family for all of her twenty-two years, only leaving during the day to work as a seamstress for the forbidding Mrs. Clennam. But Amy's fortunes are about to change: the arrival of Mrs. Clennam's son Arthur, back from working in China, heralds the beginning of stunning revelations not just about Amy but also about Arthur himself.