Oliver Twist, Or, The Parish Boy's Progress

Front Cover
Penguin, 2003 - Fiction - 553 pages
11 Reviews

Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist is a gripping portrayal of London's dark criminal underbelly, published in Penguin Classics with an introduction by Philip Horne.

The story of Oliver Twist - orphaned, and set upon by evil and adversity from his first breath - shocked readers when it was published. After running away from the workhouse and pompous beadle Mr Bumble, Oliver finds himself lured into a den of thieves peopled by vivid and memorable characters - the Artful Dodger, vicious burglar Bill Sikes, his dog Bull's Eye, and prostitute Nancy, all watched over by cunning master-thief Fagin. Combining elements of Gothic Romance, the Newgate Novel and popular melodrama, Dickens created an entirely new kind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society, and pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery.

This Penguin Classics edition of Oliver Twist is the first critical edition to faithfully reproduce the text as its earliest readers would have encountered it from its serialisation in Bentley's Miscellany, and includes an introduction by Philip Horne, a glossary of Victorian thieves' slang, a chronology of Dickens's life, a map of contemporary London and all of George Cruikshank's original illustrations.

Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions.

If you enjoyed Oliver Twist, you may like Nicholas Nickleby and Little Dorrit, also available in Penguin Classics.

'His novels will endure as long as the language itself'
  Peter Ackroyd

'He is our greatest novelist - every reread reveals more riches'
  Melvyn Bragg

'When Dickens has once described something you see it for the rest of your life'
  George Orwell

  

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Review: Oliver Twist

User Review  - Kira - Goodreads

Recipe for a Dickens novel: 1 precocious prepubescent boy whose biggest problem is that everyone cares about him too much 1-2 unlikable Mauve Shirt female characters who are either quiet wives or loud ... Read full review

Review: Oliver Twist

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

Oliver Twist THE BOOK is crap and has NO songs in it, I couldn't believe it. So I googled and get this, it turns out they put those in the movie and Dickens had nothing to do with it! But since they ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

List of Illustrations
vii
Acknowledgements
viii
A Dickens Chronology
ix
Introduction
xiii
Further Reading
xlv
A Note on the Text
l
OLIVER TWIST
1
The Authors Introduction to the Third Edition 1841
456
Preface to the Cheap Edition 1850
461
Glossary of Thieves Cant and Slang
465
List of Chapters
478
Map of London in 1837
481
Notes
485
Selected Textual Variants
530
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.


Philip Horne has spent a decade looking at the thousands of James's letters in archives in the United States and Europe. A Reader in English Literature at University College, London, he is the author of Henry James and Revision and the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of James's The Tragic Muse.

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