The Old Curiosity Shop follows the story of Little Nell who lives with her grandfather in his magical shop of curiosities in London. Her grandfathers attempts to secure an inheritance for Nell lead them into financial trouble with the evil dwarf Quilp. Nell manages to flee and lead her grandfather to safety, but with considerable cost to her health.
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Charles Dickens's early childhood was happy until his father was imprisoned for debt. The 12-year-old Dickens then began working ten-hour days in a boot-blacking factory pasting labels on the jars of thick polish. The shocking conditions of the factory made a profound impression on him. His anger at his situation and at the conditions endured by working-class people became major themes in his fiction.From AudioFile:
Dickens milks pathos for all it's worth in this famously tear-jerking account of the trials and tribulations of Little Nell and her poor grandfather, proprietor of the title emporium, at the hands of fate, a feckless relative, and, especially, an evil dwarf. Nell's death scene is one of the most famous passages in all of Victorian literature. The fustian prose and numerous memorable characters are ably represented by Anton Lesser. Vocally, he paints a cloudy sky over the entire oral landscape, neglecting the irony and touches of humor that occasionally relieve the gloom. The abridgment he reads from retains much of the style, as well as the plot, of the original. Y.R. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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