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Oliver Twist (Macmillan Popular Classics)
Oliver Twist is one of Dickens’s most popular novels, with many famous film, television and musical adaptations. It is a classic story of good against evil, packed with humour and pathos, drama and suspense, in which the orphaned Oliver is brought up in a harsh workhouse, and then taken in and exploited by the criminal Fagin, before being eventually rescued and taken in by a loving family.
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Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.