Little Nell Trent lives in the quiet gloom of the old curiosity shop with her ailing grandfather, for whom she cares with selfless devotion. But when they are unable to pay their debts to the stunted, lecherous and demonic money-lender Daniel Quilp, the shop is seized and they are forced to flee, thrown into a shadowy world in which there seems to be no safe haven. Dickens's portrayal of the innocent, tragic Nell made The Old Curiosity Shop an instant bestseller that captured the hearts of the nation, even as it was criticised for its sentimentality by figures such as Oscar Wilde. Yet alongside the story's pathos are some of Dickens's greatest comic and grotesque creations: the ne'er-do-well Dick Swiveller, the mannish lawyer Sally Brass, the half-starved 'Marchioness' and the lustful, loathsome Quilp himself.
Chapman & Hall, 1890. Hardback. 8vo Crown edition. Publisher's maroon cloth boards. 460 pp. with 75 illustrations inc tissue guarded frontis. Deckled edges. Book condition: Fair. Bumped corners, light shelfwear, sunned spine. Hinges weakened but holding. Some pages loose but all present. Internally clean and bright.