The Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity Shop was published in full as a separate volume in 1841 but was originally supposed to be part of the Master Humphreyís Clock series and is indeed narrated at the start by Master Humphreys (see Barnaby Rudge). A curiosity shop was, in Dickensí time, a place where one could buy second hand goods of a precious, ornamental or antique variety. Little Nell Trent looks after her grandfather in the gloomy environs of such a shop and she is one of many Dickens heroines to be utterly devoted and kind (see Little Dorrit etc). Their fortunes go sharply downhill as the grandfatherís money is wasted by a spendthrift son-in-law and Fred Trent, Nellís brother. In this unfortunate situation, the grandfather borrows money from the appalling Daniel Quilp, an unpleasant-looking dwarf. He attempts to gamble it into a larger sum for Nellís sake but fails and Quilp, realising where his money has gone, seizes the shop. This leaves the old man and Nell to flee and face the torments of life wandering the country to avoid the vengeful and malicious Quilp. There is something of an improvement in their fortunes, but eventually both die, in Nellís case in a particularly sentimental way that Dickens is often criticised for. There is also some justice however, for Quilp, and the minor characters such as Kit Nubbles (who adores Nell) provide some relief from the grimness of the novelís portrait of the world.

Table of contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55
Chapter 75
Chapter 57
Chapter 58
Chapter 59
Chapter 60
Chapter 61
Chapter 62
Chapter 63
Chapter 64
Chapter 65
Chapter 66
Chapter 67
Chapter 68
Chapter 69
Chapter 70
Chapter 71
Chapter 72
Chapter 73

  By PanEris using Melati.

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