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Oliver Twist (Penguin Classics) Paperback – April 29, 2003
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"The power of [Dickens] is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads."
--William Makepeace Thackeray
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.
Philip Horne is a Reader in English at UCL. He is author of the acclaimed Henry James: A Life in Letters and editor of James' The Tragic Muse for Penguin.
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Although "Oliver Twist" is sometime hard to read due the differences in culture and time and the vocabulary of the time, I think anyone with some patience while reading this book will embrace the lessons it offers. I highly recommend the effort.