Presentation of the text
Title: Oliver Twist (1837-39)
Author: Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was an English novelist, writer, and social critic. Over the course of his career, Dickens published 15 novels and five novellas, as well as a huge number of short stories and essays. He became a celebrity in his lifetime and his books offer some of the best-known depictions of Victorian England, and especially of Victorian London.
Oliver Twist was first published as a series of installments in 1837-38, before being published as a novel in 1839. The book follows the life of the main character over the course of his childhood, covering his involvement in a criminal gang and his subsequent escape to a better life. Like many of Dickens’ novels, Oliver Twist draws attention to the terrible and unfair conditions experienced by many poor and working-class people in early 19th century England.
Today, the story is one of the most famous of Dickens’ novels. It has inspired a large number of adaptations, including many film and television versions. For example, the 1948 movie adaptation directed by David Lean is considered one of the most powerful. The novel is also the inspiration for the 1960 hit musical Oliver!, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. Many of the well-known songs from the musical are still popular.
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