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.
Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to… More about Charles Dickens