(From the publisher):
For the character of Little Nell, the beautiful child thrown into a shadowy, terrifying world, Dickens drew on a tragedy in his own life, the death at the age of seventeen of his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth. Five years later he wrote, 'the desire to be buried next her is as strong upon me now ... and I know (for I don't think there ever was love like that I bear her) that it will never diminish.'
The sorrows of Nell and her grandfather are offset by Dickens's creation of a dazzling contemporary world inhabited by some of his most brilliantly drawn characters -- the eloquent ne'er-do-well Dick Swiveller; the hungry maid known as the 'Marchioness'; the mannish lawyer Sally Brass; Quilp's brow-beaten mother-in-law, and Quilp himself, the lustful, vengeful dwarf, whose demonic energy makes a vivid counterpoint to Nell's purity.
Originally published in eighty-eight weekly installments in Master Humphrey's Clock, April 1840 to November 1841.
Original title: The Old Curiosity Shop
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics