Oliver Twist

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Oliver Twist is one of Dickens's most popular novels, with many famous film, television and musical adaptations. It tells the story of the orphaned Oliver who is brought up in a harsh workhouse, then initiated into the criminal world of Fagin and his gang, before being eventually rescued by a loving family. This is a classic story of good against evil, packed with humour and pathos, drama and suspense, and peopled with some of Dickens' most memorable characters.

Illustrated by George Cruikshank, with an afterword by Sam Gilpin.

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth, where his father worked as a clerk. Living in London in 1824, Dickens was sent by his family to work in a blacking-warehouse, and his father was arrested and imprisoned for debt. Fortunes improved and Dickens returned to school, eventually becoming a parliamentary reporter. His first piece of fiction was published by a magazine in December 1832, and by 1836 he had begun his first novel, The Pickwick Papers . He focused his career on writing, completing fourteen highly successful novels, as well as penning journalism, shorter fiction and travel books. He died in 1870.