Little Dorrit

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Wordsworth Editions, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 740 pages
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With an Introduction and Notes by Peter Preston, University of Nottingham.

With Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz).

Little Dorritis a classic tale of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, while Dickens' working title for the novel, Nobody's Fault, highlights its concern with personal responsibility in private and public life. Dickens' childhood experiences inform the vivid scenes in Marshalsea debtor's prison, while his adult perceptions of governmental failures shape his satirical picture of the Circumlocution Office. The novel's range of characters - the honest, the crooked, the selfish and the self-denying - offers a portrait of society about whose values Dickens had profound doubts.

Little Dorritis indisputably one of Dickens' finest works, written at the height of his powers. George Bernard Shaw called it 'a masterpiece among masterpices', a vedict shared by the novel's many admirers.

 

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Contents

PREFACE I
1
i1 FellowTravellers
18
in Home
31
1v Mrs Flintwinch has a Dream
43
v1 The Father of the Marshalsea
58
v11 The Child of the Marshalsea
68
VIH The Lock
77
x1 Let Loose
119
xx1x Mrs Flintwinch Goes on Dreaming
322
xxxn More FortuneTelling
359
xxx111 Mrs Merdles Complaint
368
xxxrv A Shoal of Barnacles
378
xxxv1 The Marshalsea Becomes an Orphan
398
FellowTravellers
409
Mrs General
424
1v A Letter from Little Dorrit
443

XH BleedingHeart Yard
128
xin Patriarchal
137
x1v Little Dorrits Party
158
Mrs Flintwinch has Another Dream
170
xv1 Nobodys Weakness
179
xv11 Nobodys Rival
191
xv111 Litde Dorrits Lover
201
The Father of the Marshalsea
210
Moving in Society
221
Mr Merdles Complaint
234
xx1n Machinery in Motion
250
xxrv FortuneTelling
265
Conspirators and Others
281
xxv1 Nobodys State of Mind
290
xxv11 FiveandTwenty
302
xxv1i1 Nobodys Disappearance
314
v1 Something Right Somewhere
460
v11 Mostly Prunes and Prism
476
v111 The Dowager Mrs Gowan is Reminded
486
1x Appearance and Disappearance
497
x1 A Letter from Little Dorrit
520
Two Persons should not be Joined Together
564
xv11 Missing
585
xv111 A Casde in the Air
595
The Storming of the Casde in the Air
602
The History of a SelfTormentor
627
XXVIH An Appearance in the Marshalsea
695
xxx1 Closed
744
Going
752
xxxi1i Going
759
EXPLANATORY NOTES
781
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

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