The Old Curiosity Shop
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The Old Curiosity Shop : a Tale

By (author) Charles Dickens , Illustrated by (Phiz) Hablot K. Browne , Illustrated by George Cattermole , Edited by Professor Norman Page , Other Stephen Wall , Illustrated by Daniel Maclise , Illustrated by Samuel Williams , Introduction by Professor Norman Page , Notes by Professor Norman Page

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The archetypal Victorian melodrama, as heartfelt and moving today as when it was first published, Charles Dickens's "The Old Curiosity Shop" is edited with notes and an introduction by Norman Page in "Penguin Classics". Little Nell Trent lives in the quiet gloom of the old curiosity shop with her ailing grandfather, for whom she cares with selfless devotion. But when they are unable to pay their debts to the stunted, lecherous and demonic money-lender Daniel Quilp, the shop is seized and they are forced to flee, thrown into a shadowy world in which there seems to be no safe haven. Dickens's portrayal of the innocent, tragic Nell made "The Old Curiosity Shop" an instant bestseller that captured the hearts of the nation, even as it was criticised for its sentimentality by figures such as Oscar Wilde. Yet alongside the story's pathos are some of Dickens's greatest comic and grotesque creations: the ne'er-do-well Dick Swiveller, the mannish lawyer Sally Brass, the half-starved 'Marchioness' and the lustful, loathsome Quilp himself. This edition, based on the original text of 1841, contains an introduction by Norman Page discussing the various contrasting themes of the novel and its roots in Dickens's own personal tragedy, with prefaces to the 1841 and 1848 editions, a chronology, notes and original illustrations produced for the serial version. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including "Oliver Twist", "Great Expectations", "A Tale of Two Cities", "David Copperfield" and "The Pickwick Papers", have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed "The Old Curiosity Shop", you might like Dickens' "Hard Times", also available in "Penguin Classics".

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  • Paperback | 608 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 28mm | 458.13g
  • 01 Jul 2001
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0140437428
  • 9780140437423
  • 111,653

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Author Information

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenally successful PICKWICK PAPERS (1836-7). His novels captured and held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. He is considered one of the greatest novelists in the English language. Norman Page is Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham and the University of Alberta, Canada. His books include A Dickens Companion and A Dickens Chronology.

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Back cover copy

The story of 'Little Nell' gripped the nation when it first appeared. Described as a 'tragedy of sorrows', it tells of Nell uprooted from a secure and innocent childhood and cast into a world where evil takes many shapes, the most fascinating of which is the stunted, lecherous Quilp. He is Nell's tormenter and destroyer, and it is his demonic energy that dominates the book.

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