, 1963 - Fiction
- 335 pages
The gaunt, pathetic figure of orphan Oliver being refused more gruel has become a literary and cultural icon, embedded in the national consciousness as a searing image of poverty and helplessness, dramatizing as it does the extent to which what is taken for granted at home is denied in the workhouse. Yet the novel, a powerful indictment of the workhouse, is also more than that, for even as Oliver escapes its callous grasp, he is snared by the criminal underworld of Fagin's gang. Oliver's struggle to be free of Fagin and Sikes, and his desperate search for a loving, nurturing home, express the theme that forms the real crux of the book; the poignant depiction of the evils of homelessness and its consequences. Full of vivid characterizations, biting irony and ghoulish humor, Oliver Twist is one of Dickens most enduringly popular works. The Toby Press edition of Oliver Twist is based on the Gadshill Edition of 1897, and includes Dickens's preface to the third edition. It also features an introductory essay and chronology by Professor H.M. Daleski, the former President of the International Dickens Society and formerly Chairman of the Department of English at Hebrew University. Book jacket.