The Old Curiosity Shop

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The Old Curiosity Shop Portsmouth Street London

The Old Curiosity Shop is a novel by the author Charles Dickens. The plot follows the life of Little Nell and her grandfather residents of The Old Curiosity Shop.

The Old Curiosity Shop (along with Barnaby Rudge) was one of two novels which Dickens published in his short lived weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock, which lasted from 1840 to 1841, when Barnaby Rudge was published. It was printed as a separate book in 1841. A paperback edition was issued in New York by Everymans Library in 1995 with ISBN 0460876007.

The book was extremely popular when first written, as were most of his novels, but is now regarded as one of the worst perpetrators of Victorian sentimentality. Indeed Oscar Wilde said 'One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.'

Although heavy with sentimentality it is redeemed by its character sketches such as Mrs. Jarley the owner of a travelling waxworks and Quilp the dwarf. The characters’ travels through the blasted, industrial backgrounds of Victorian England are also powerfully descriptive.

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