Oliver Twist: The Parish Boy's Progress

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1944 - Fiction - 418 pages
11 Reviews

Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens' unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives. The book exposed the cruel treatment of many a waif-child in London, which increased international concern in what is sometimes known as "The Great London Waif Crisis": the large number of orphans in London in the Dickens era. The book's subtitle, The Parish Boy's Progress alludes to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and also to a pair of popular 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, "A Rake's Progress" and "A Harlot's Progress".

Go BompaCrazy!

An early example of the social novel, the book calls the public's attention to various contemporary evils, including the Poor Law, child labour and the recruitment of children as criminals. Dickens mocks the hypocrisies of his time by surrounding the novel's serious themes with sarcasm and dark humour. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of hardships as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own early youth as a child labourer contributed to the story's development.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eduardoallgri - LibraryThing

This story is about a boy who goes through many problems in his life, Oliver Twist. His mother died when she gave birth. Then, he goes through several problems with his adoptive family that lead him ... Read full review

A true classic

User Review  - Jessica - Christianbook.com

The story of Oliver Twist tells of the struggles of a young orphan boy in the streets of London. It follows him from his birth, to his labeling as a trouble-maker when he dares to ask for more food ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1944)

Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.

 Go BompaCrazy!


Dickens left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into debtors' prison. Although he had little formal education, his early impoverishment drove him to succeed.Dickens was the most popular novelist of his time, and remains one of the best known and most read of English authors. His works have never gone out of print, and have been adapted continually for the screen since the invention of cinema, with at least 200 motion pictures and TV adaptations based on Dickens's works documented.

Bibliographic information