Charles Dickens’s second novel is the tale of a young orphan who faces the gruelling conditions of a Victorian workhouse before finding himself sucked into the criminal underworld of London. Teeming with unforgettable characters such as the villainous Fagin, the virtuous Nancy and the brutal Bill Sikes, Oliver Twist combines dark humour, elements of melodrama and social polemic.
At once a ferocious indictment of the author’s era and a timeless story of coming of age, this classic has enthralled readers and inspired countless adaptations and imitations since it was first published in 1838.
The power of [Dickens] is so amazing that the reader at once becomes his captive.
William Makepeace Thackeray
A literary phenomenon in his lifetime and renowned as much for his journalism and public speaking as for his novels, Charles Dickens (1812–70) now ranks as the most important Victorian writer and one of the most influential and popular authors in the English language. His memorable and vividly rendered characters and his combination of humour, trenchant satire and compassion have left an indelible mark on our collective imagination.