Synopses & Reviews
This darkest and most colorfully grotesque of Charles Dickens’s novels swirls around one of his most beloved and unsullied heroes, the orphan Oliver Twist.
One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its re-creation—through the splendidly realized figures of Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and the evil Bill Sikes—of the vast nineteenth-century London underworld of pickpockets, thieves, prostitutes, and abandoned children. Victorian critics took Dickens to task for rendering this world in such a compelling, believable way, but readers over the last century and a half have delivered an alternative judgment by making this story of the orphaned Oliver one of its author’s most loved works.
Dickens's classic morality tale of a starving orphan caught between opposing forces of good and evil is a powerful indictment of Victorian England's Poor Laws. Filled with dark humor and an unforgettable cast of characters Oliver Twist, Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sykes, and the Artful Dodger, to name a few Dickens's second novel is a compelling social satire that has remained popular since it was first serialized in 1837-39.
The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic is taken from the 1846 New Edition, revised and corrected by the author. It includes new explanatory notes and an appendix, A Brief History of the English Poor Laws.
About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born in Portsmouth, England, and spent most of his life in London. When he was twelve, his father was sent to debtor’s prison and he was forced to work in a boot polish factory, an experience that marked him for life. He became a passionate advocate of social reform and the most popular writer of the Victorian era.