The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles DickensThe Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

The Old Curiosity Shop

byCharles DickensEditorElizabeth M. Brennan

Paperback | January 11, 2009

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`... holding her solitary way among a crowd of wild, grotesque companions; the only pure, fresh, youthful object in the throng.' `Little Nell' cares for her grandfather in the gloomy surroundings of his curiosity shop. Reduced to poverty the pair flee London, pursued by the grotesque and vindictive Quilp. In a bizarre and shifting kaleidoscope of events and characters the story reaches its tragic climax, an ending thatfamously devastated the novel's earliest readers. Dickens blends naturalistic and allegorical styles to encompass both the actual blight of Victorian industrialization and textual echoes of Bunyan, the Romantic poets, Shakespeare, pantomine and Jacobean tragedy. Contrasting youth and old age, beautyand deformity, innocence and cynicism, The Old Curiosity Shop is a compelling mixture of humour and brooding meance. This edition uses the Clarendon text, the definitive edition of the novels of Charles Dickens, and includes the original illustrations.
Charles Dickens (1812-70) is one of England's greatest novelists. Born into a poor family (his father was once imprisoned for debt), Dickens became both rich and famous in his lifetime.
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Title:The Old Curiosity ShopFormat:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.06 inPublished:January 11, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199538239

ISBN - 13:9780199538232

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Alright Old Curiosity Shop is a wonderful Victorian novel. I rather prefer the parts concerning Dick Swiveller and Frederick to Nell and her grandfather.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Most Dickensian Novel That Still Captures Our Imagination Of all what Dickens wrote, there never was one like "Old Curiosity Shop." Most Dickensian in the sense that it exudes everything he created in his career. Outrageous characters including an angelic heroine and impossibly theatrical villain, (too) kind-hearted gentlemen and hilarious comic relief. The story follows the fate of Little Nell, who together with his grandfather embarks on a wandering trek through England to find her place where they can live quietly. Around her and her old friend Kit appear the colorful characters such as incredibly cheerful, optimistic Dick Swiveller, or grotesque, villainous Quilp (who somehow attracted a pretty lady's attention for he got married!) On top of them, you encounter a lot of vividly described characters only Dickens can create. As the novel started as a short vignette in a magazine, and then Dickens extended it, following his imagination, to boost the readers' subscription (because the magazine's circulation dropped badly after the initial issue), the plot is very thin, and the whole work is incoherent. The first-person narrator who opens the story disappears soon; Nell's brother Fred is gone almost silently ("Did Little Nell have a brother?" those who had read it may say. So unmemorable.); even Kit, who adores Nell deep in his heart at first, seems to forget her existence before Barbara, his love, after Nell ran away from her house. But all these flaws must be forgotten. Dickens wrote it without a prepared plan; he just used his creative power, and his double plot device, which is awkward, is an inevitable result. It is like some TV sitcoms or dramas (like "Ally McBeal" or "X-Files") that keep on running for years -- you never know where it is going. So read it slowly, turn your blind eye to the holes in the plot, and enjoy the characters. One of the most favorite episodes was once the last scene of Little Nell, for whom every Victorian actually shed tears, but you might now feel differently about a series of sentimental sentences. Well, remember it was how they felt at that time. And don't miss one very good thing about the book; it is the budding love between the most unlikely couple in the history of English literature, that of Dick Swiveller and the Marchioness, an abused little girl. That comsenpates for the shortcomings of "Old Curiosity Book," most gargantuan novel coming from Dickens's imaginative power. There are many editions of the book, and as far as I know, EVERYMAN "PAPERBACK" EDITION provides complete, clear-cut original illustartion. Watching them is another joy you can have.
Date published: 2009-09-06