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The Old Curiosity Shop

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Author: Charles Dickens
Published: 1841
Language: English
Wordcount: 220,152 / 613 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 67.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 9,755 2198
More Info:

Little Nell Trent looks after her grandfather in the gloomy Curiosity Shop, as their fortunes dwindle. To ensure Nell's future, her grandfather borrows money and attempts to gamble it into a larger sum, but fails and loses the shop to Daniel Quilp, a vengeful and malicious man, who forces them to flee into the country.

Show Excerpt

ere was no harm in what she had been doing, but it was a great secret--a secret which she did not even know herself.

This was said with no appearance of cunning or deceit, but with an unsuspicious frankness that bore the impress of truth. She walked on as before, growing more familiar with me as we proceeded and talking cheerfully by the way, but she said no more about her home, beyond remarking that we were going quite a new road and asking if it were a short one.

While we were thus engaged, I revolved in my mind a hundred different explanations of the riddle and rejected them every one. I really felt ashamed to take advantage of the ingenuousness or grateful feeling of the child for the purpose of gratifying my curiosity. I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us. As I had felt pleased at first by her confidence I determined to deserve it, and to do credit to the nature which had prompted her to repose it in me.

There was no reason, howev

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.3 from 3 reviews: *****
Lesley hughes

Could not put it down, the hopefulness and the tragedy side by side. I felt a range of emotions as I read on, testament to a style of writing that makes you think.

Leah A. Zeldes

An old man, addicted to gambling, loses his all, plunging himself and his granddaughter, sweet young Nell, into a life of itinerant poverty and peril. As they travel aimlessly, they're sought by friends and enemies.

Though full of colorful Dickens characters -- notably the malevolent dwarf Quilp and his rapacious, plotting lawyers -- and fascinating description, the novel comes to an unsatisfying conclusion, making it one of the author's lesser works.

This is not as well proofread as most Gutenberg releases.


This book is simply superb. I cried innumerbale times while reading it. I dont think that any other book has left such an impact on me as this one. Its excellent.



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Ronald E. Yates
Ronald E. Yates has loved books since the very first day he stepped into a library. Thanks to this passion - coupled with a fascination with history and a true talent for writing, we have seen several excellent works from his pen. Today, as our Author of the Day, Yates talks about how he manages to describe the history in his books with such extraordinary accuracy, how his own experiences inspired the Billy Battles books and gives some sound writing advice to any aspiring writers out there.
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