Prospero's Bookshelf

Oliver Twist, American edition Charles Dickens With Dickens' Preface in Defense of his Subject Matter

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Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist is a classic of English Literature, first published serially in 1837-39.

This 19th century New York edition includes Dickens' much discussed Preface  in its revised form as an indignant defense of his writing the novel.

For example:

  • He defends his use of "criminal and degraded" characters and his thesis in general as having a "moral" purpose.
  • He answers the comments of critics who saw Nancy as an impossible person or perhaps so, but he adds: "It is TRUE."
  • He also writes about Jacob's Island which is featured in the novel. Some London Alderman, he explains, in 1850 declared that the Island did not exist. But, in his final paragraph (shown in pictures above) of this Preface Dickens states with some indignation that in the "year one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven" it most decidedly did exist.

And today, I might add, the island still exists though much gentrified.

  • CONDITION This collectible copy of Oliver Twist is well used; the binding, though firm in itself, is generally weak. The pages are well browned with age; one page is loose. It is an antique book but published with this frequently discussed Preface by Dickens which is a revision of the original Preface.

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