Author(s): Charles Dickens
'You talk very easily of hours, sir! How long do you suppose, sir, that an hour is to a man who is choking for want of air?' A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, "Little Dorrit" is one of the supreme works of Dickens's maturity. When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy's father, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect many lives, from Mr Panks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier. This is the Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. In Little Dorrit, one of Dickens's final five novels, he draws upon his own childhood memories to evoke the same Marshalsea prison in which his father was incarcerated when the author was twelve years old. The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and The Mystery of Edwin Drood are also published in the Penguin English Library.