Charles Dickens’s cutting social novel of corruption, cruelty, and a brave orphan boy
Brought into the world by a drunken nurse and an inept surgeon, innocent young Oliver Twist couldn’t have known the mysterious circumstances surrounding his birth—that his mother had been discovered wandering the streets, near bursting with child, and had died ignominiously on the cold bed of a workhouse, having just pushed the little boy from her womb and into the uncertain future shared by thousands of other orphans throughout England.
This classic novel by Charles Dickens was among the first to expose the pitiless conditions of England’s orphanages, and an early example of the social novel—fiction meant to effect change by shining a dramatized light on a public ill. Readers were almost as shocked by the novel’s blade-edged sarcasm as they were scandalized by its stark depictions of ruinous orphanages and corrupt clergy.
Adapted into countless films, plays, stories, and television shows, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist remains one of the most beloved works of literature ever penned.
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