This, the 2nd of Dickens' classic novels, was initially published as a serial in Bentley’s Miscellany (a periodical edited by Dickens) between 1837 and 1839. In the rags-to-riches story of orphan and escapee Oliver Twist, the author examines hypocrisies and contemporary social evils, including the workhouse, child labour and the recruitment of children as criminals. Filled to the brim with the archetypal circus of Dickensian excesses - vicious thieves, ladies of negotiable virtue with hearts of gold, plucky urchins, cringe-worthy Jewish gentlemen and undoubtedly a jolly fat person somewhere - it presents an accurate (but nevertheless entertaining) depiction of social realities in the early 19th century.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812–1870), English writer and social critic, created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories remain enduringly popular.
'Oliver Twist' was originally published in 3 volumes by Bradbury and Evans in 1838, but this is the first single-volume edition (by the same publisher), and includes substantial revisions by Dickens, to make it compatible with his frequent dramatic public readings. Our copy is bound in a c.19th binding in deep blue/black leather with gilt details to edges and both boards as well as on the spine on which are five raised bands including a red label with "Oliver Twist" in gilt. All page edges gilt. Externally, there are signs of wear compatible with the book's age - bumped corners, wear at edges & spine angles, and some cracking on, and shelf wear at top & bottom of, the spine. The back cover is detached, but the general condition is otherwise good. Inside, the binding is firm and all pages present. There is foxing throughout, particularly noticeable on the pages of illustration (all 24 by Cruikshank), but in general the text is reasonably clear and readable. Most of the illustrations have left 'shadows' on the opposite pages.