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Little Dorrit (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Charles Dickens , Harvey Peter Sucksmith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Little Dorrit (Oxford World's Classics) Little Dorrit (Oxford World's Classics) 4.3 out of 5 stars (92)
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Book Description

15 July 1999 0192835661 978-0192835666 New edition
Highly regarded today as one of the greatest novels in English literature, Little Dorrit presents both a scathing indictment of mid-Victorian England and a devastating insight into the human condition. Examining the many social and mental prisons which incarcerate men and women, the novel also considers the nature of true spiritual freedom. Against a background of administrative and financial scandal, Dickens tells the moving story of the old Marshalsea prisoner who inherits a fortune and his devoted daughter's love for a man who believes he has done with love. He draws widely on the events of his own life and times, yet focuses a powerful imaginative vision which is as universal as it is specific, immediate, and intense. In Little Dorrit Dickens displays his characteristic mastery of irony and pathos, of satire and comedy, and the novel exemplifies his most mature, ambitious, and effective writing. This edition, which has the definitive Clarendon text, also includes Dickens's working notes and eight of the original illustrations from the first edition by 'Phiz'.

Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (15 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192835661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192835666
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,774,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


One of the most glorious achievements of publishing in our time --The Daily Telegraph

It will never be more possible for a more complete and perfect edition to be put on the market --Arthur Waugh, Past President, Dickens Fellowship

It will never be more possible for a more complete and perfect edition to be put on the market --Arthur Waugh, Past President, Dickens Fellowship --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

An important addition to the Everyman Dickens series --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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THIRTY years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 21 May 2008
From its first publication in book form after the serialisation, Little Dorrit has always proved to be a good seller. So why has this book always been so popular? For whole segments Amy 'Little' Dorrit does not even appear. The novel covers so much more than the title implies.

Little Dorrit is born in the Marshalsea, where her father is imprisoned for debt. Eventually he is released at the end of book one, when he comes into an inheritance. For Mr Dorrit this leads to paranoia that people are talking behind his back or laughing at him due to his former poverty. Poor little Dorrit finds it difficult to change her ways and is still a ministering angel to all and sundry.

What really stands out in this book are the locations, as the story travels from London through France, Switzerland and Italy. This is the most widespread geographically of any of Dickens' novels. Also this book probably has the most sub-plots of any Dickens novel, with mention of murder and smuggling, to actual acts of corruption and suicide, to love, marriages and death. Mrs Clennam tries to keep a family secret buried but is being blackmailed, and is her house haunted or is there a more rational explanation?

As to be expected with Dickens there are some great characters and some good comedy. Anyone who has ever had any dealings with govermental departments can really appreciate the Circumloction Office, and its practices. A few of the illustrations in this book are some of the very best to appear in any of his novels.

This is a must read book, that with so many things going on throughout will keep you absorbed for hours, and that you will want to read again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit 18 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD
A vivid and detailed tale of Victorian England, which has many similarities to present day Britain. A really masterful story by Charles Dickens, graphically narrated by Anton Lesson, another master of his profession. It has more than 10 hours of story, ideal for a long car journey or enlightening another pile of ironing or a long winter's evening. We wholeheartedly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American spellings 22 Feb 2009
I was a bit put-off by a previous review that claims that this book has been changed to american spellings but went ahead and got it anyway as I thought that the illustrations were worth it (they are). I have found that the book has not been americanised (just opened it at random to page 362 and almost the first word I see is 'endeavour' - english version. It does conntain some olde english spellings, eg trousers is spelt as trowsers (not pants).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dickens at what he does best! 20 Nov 2008
Little Dorrit is a prime example of Dickens' weighty descriptive style and his genius for observation and characterisation. It also, perhaps unusually for Dickens, has a semi-coherent story line.
The book chronicles the respective fortunes of the title heroine, a young women caring for her incarcerated father in the Marshalsea Prison, and Mr Arthur Clennam, a kindly businessman returned lately from the east, who becomes obsessed with the idea that his father was responsible for the Dorrit families woes. An entrie host of characters, good and bad, amusing and obnoxious, accompany the main protagonists on their mysteriously intertwined journeys. The only fault I can find is with the tale's finale, when it seems Dickens grows tired of the story, not actually having a great twist for the climax, and bumps off many of his characters before ending with a rather predictable chocolate tin finish. However, your sense of achievment at having penetrated deeper into the world of Dickens, meeting memorable heroes and villains will probably overcome any misgivings on this score. The scene where Mr Pancks cuts the patriarch's hair is pure genius and the petulant Mr Dorrit, Flora Casby and her objectionable Aunt are another constant stream of entertainment.
Apart from the moral that money will not buy you happiness, Dickens also used this book to launch a scathing criticism against the government and society of the time, represented by the infamous Circumlocution Office and a certain affluent couple named Merdle.
An excellent read for all those who have a reasonable grasp of the English language or have enjoyed other Dickens books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit 24 Jan 2009
By chup
A truly superb story and a must for everyone,whether a fan of Dickens or not
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit 1 Feb 2009
For me, a great book, Dickens' meticulous attention to detail sets the plot and through the book the story line develops, sub plot within plot. I enjoyed the book very much, as I have all dickens' books I've read. SMB
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fascinating 26 Aug 2013
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is prime Dickens, so must merit five stars even if it is a novel which typifies the virtues of and failings of Dickens' maturity. A work clearly springing from the author's deepest fears and concerns, it is exceptionally diffuse and prolix, sufficient to provoke the despair of his admirers and the grim satisfaction of his (few) detractors. There is barely enough plot or incident to cover nearly eight hundred pages and some of the chapters where Dickens gives vent to his frustration with the interminable procrastination, otiose bureaucracy and ingrained tribal structure in the machineries of government and the Civil Service, are decidedly superfluous, for all their magnificent scorn; sometimes the author wears his satirical hat too long.

This is Dickens exorcising two demons: his engrained terror of debt and imprisonment, springing from his childhood experience as the child of Mr Micawber and his loathing for the self-serving Establishment. It is worth pointing out that the debtors' prisons had long been closed when this novel was written so this is not in any crude sense a "reform" novel but must be viewed more subtly as a work which exploits imprisonment as a metaphor, whereby many of the characters are "locked in" to a wretched existence and seek freedom and redemption.

As ever, the result is some immortal and fantastic creations: the Circumlocution Office is an institution to match the workings of Chancery - another institution which was in fact in the process of reforming itself just as the novel was being written - in "Bleak House". There is not perhaps the wealth of striking or comic characters one expects in a Dickens novel although many still approach the immortal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars i just found it to be a boring read. There
I,ve read quite a few Dicken,s books, struggled with some but got to the end but, not Little Dorrit. I ,ve only read about a third of the book and now find myself giving up. Read more
Published 3 days ago by ticketyboo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
totally wonderful
Published 16 days ago by alice brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by NMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Need to read it again!!
Confusing at times but beautifully written. Surprisingly some of it is very contemporary.

Was Little Dorrit too much of a goody??
Published 1 month ago by Poppy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good Dickens book.
Published 1 month ago by Smiler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Bex
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It downloaded ok but as yet I have not had time to read it
Published 1 month ago by j i wiggett
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorrit
Love the story but very hard to understand the way in which the book is written. But you do get the gist of it as you read. You have to understand the old way of speaking.
Published 2 months ago by Polly
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Dorritt
It was in very good condition which was good as it was for a birthday present . I know the contents as I've already read and enjoyed it .
Published 3 months ago by Pamela Bird
3.0 out of 5 stars a happy ending at last
There were the usual unexpected deaths from a Dickens but only people we didn't mind popping off.
A great insight into the Marshalsea.
Published 3 months ago by Geoff
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