Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist.—A novel by Charles Dickens. Thackeray, writing of this novel, in the character of “Ikey Solomons,” says: “The power of the writer is so amazing that the reader at once becomes his captive, and must follow him whithersoever he leads: and to what are we led? Breathless to watch all the crimes of Fagin, tenderly to deplore the errors of Nancy, to have for Bill Sikes a kind of pity and admiration, and an absolute love for the society of the Dodger. All these heroes stepped from the novel on to the stage; and the whole London public, from peers to chimney sweeps, were interested about a set of ruffians whose occupations are thievery, murder, and prostitution.” A remarkable feature of the work, and one which, on its publication, brought considerable odium on the writer, was its unsparing exposure of the poor-law and the workhouse system, which led to its representation on the stage being forbidden for a time.