The Old Curiosity Shop
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Here is one of Charles Dickens’ sweeping tales of trial and tribulation. Nell Trent, a young, virtuous orphan, lives with her unnamed grandfather in The Old Curiosity Shop, which is filled with various odds and ends. Nell and her grandfather love each other, but her life is a lonely one without her parents, and without anyone her age to talk to. Her grandfather, determined that Nell will have a better life than her parents did, gambles at night in an effort to accumulate money for her inheritance. Nell is oblivious to her grandfather’s nocturnal activity and forms a friendship with Kit, a boy who works at the shop. Her grandfather’s gambling plans take an unlucky turn, however: instead of winning money to save away, he ends up losing the little money they have. He borrows from the evil moneylender Daniel Quilp, who ultimately seizes possession of the curiosity shop and evicts Nell and her grandfather. Penniless, they journey to another town and try to survive as beggars. Quilp continues to pursue them and tries relentlessly to track them down. Living as fugitives, Nell and her grandfather have lost everything but each other—but even that relationship is threatened as Dickens’ novel draws to a close.
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Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was uniquely successful as a writer during his lifetime, enjoying huge followings from readers and audiences in England and America. When, early in life, sudden misfortune sent his family into extreme poverty, the young Charles was sent to work in a factory. Never forgetting this childhood misery, Dickens wrote often in later life about the plights of the working poor. As a young man he became a law clerk and stenographer, moving into journalism in the 1830s. Dickens's early journalistic sketches formed the basis for his first literary works. With the 1836 serialized publication of The Pickwick Papers, his unparalleled success as an author began. Dickens went on to write such famous novels as David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Barnaby Rudge, Hard Times, and Bleak House, with all of his works remaining in print to this day.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
Night is generally my time for walking. In the summer I often leave home early in the morning, and roam about fields and lanes all day, or even escape for days or weeks together; but, saving in the country, I seldom go out until after dark, though, Heaven be thanked, I love its light and feel the ...Back to top
Reviewed by Mom1 on Jan 5, 2009
One of the greats.
I am only part way through the book, but it has already proven to be as enjoyable and inviting as many of Dickens' works are. Interesting characters and situations, looking forward to continuing reading.
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Ratings for 'The Old Curiosity Shop' by Dickens, Charles