Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens
Publisher: Vintage Books
The darkest and most colourfully grotesque of Charles Dickens’s novels swirls around one of his most beloved and unsullied heroes, the orphan Oliver Twist. One of the most swiftly moving and unified of Dickens’s great novels, Oliver Twist is also famous for its re-creation – through the splendidly realised figures of Fagin, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and the evil Bill Sikes – of the vast nineteenth-century London underworld of pickpockets, thieves, prostitutes, and abandoned children.
Victorian critics took Dickens to task for rendering this world in such a compelling, believable way, but readers over the last century and a half have delivered an alternative judgement by making this story of the orphaned Oliver one of its author’s most loved works.