‘I bought it, read and loved it’ Derek Jacobi
Gentle Nell Trent lives a simple, if solitary life with her doting grandfather in his curiosity shop. Her parents died in poverty and unbeknownst to Nell her grandfather is obsessed with winning her an inheritance through gambling, but is forced to borrow heavily from malicious money-lender Quilp. As their debts mount up Nell and her grandfather are forced to flee London, pursued by the vindictive Quilp and others who seek to exploit them, in Dicken’s classic tale of pathos and villainy.
“I am reading The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens for the first time. His characters are marvellous, his insights wonderful and I'm astonished that I managed to miss this one before. Quilp and his wife and Kit confirm my view that Dickens is the father of magic realism. You don't expect reality but you get something bigger and better”
“One of Charles Dickens's darkest, most melodramatic novels”
“It could be argued that The Old Curiosity Shop changed the expression of grief in the English-speaking world”
Peter Ackroyd, The Times
“I have read so much Dickens that I can almost predict where a story is leading from the beginning. But The Old Curiosity Shop is more mysterious. This Christmas I read it again didn't get out of bed for two days as I followed the adventures of Little Nell and the evil dwarf Quilp”
“I just love the Marchioness and just loathe, with delicious pantomime venom, Daniel Quilp”