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In this tale, first published serially in 1841 and 1842, Dickens follows Nell Trent, an angelic and unfailingly virtuous girl of "nearly fourteen" and her grandfather as they navigate a world populated by villains, criminals and ne'er-do-wells. The public response at the time equalled modern reactions to the Harry Potter books, the audience rapt to learn of Nell's fate. Does she live a life of comfort, of which her grandfather dreams? Or does fate have something less noble in store for poor Nell? This is a free digital copy of a book that has been carefully scanned by Google as part of a project to make the world's books discoverable online. To make this print edition available as an ebook, we have extracted the text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and submitted it to a review process to ensure its accuracy and legibility across different screen sizes and devices. Google is proud to partner with libraries to make this book available to readers everywhere.
The Old Curiosity Shop was expanded from a short tale to save Dickens's failing periodical Master Humphrey's Clock (1840-1); it is the first of his novels of which the complete manuscript, many corrected proofs, and some working notes survive. This makes it uniquely interesting to both the textual critic and general reader. Forster's Life of Dickens played down the novelist's dependence on his friend's help, but the proofs reveal at first hand the nature of Forster's assistance as well as Dickens's own practice. In conjunction with the manuscript, which contains two previously unprinted notes to his publisher, they show Dickens dealing with the unexpected demands of weekly serialization of an unplanned, full-length novel. This is most obvious as he approaches the death of Little Nell, in whose fate both he and his readers became emotionally involved. This is the first edition to benefit from the recent revelation of material which Dickens had himself obscured or discarded on manuscript versos, and the first to scrutinize the importance and impact of the wood engravings dropped into the text.
Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. The Old Curiosity Shop is an instant bestseller that captured the hearts of the nation. 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 lecherous 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.