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Part of Penguin's exquisite hardback Clothbound Classics series, skillfully designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delightful and collectible editions are bound in high-quality, colorful, tactile cloth. The narrative follows the orphan Oliver, who flees the workhouse only to find refuge with a group of thieves, a storyline that initially shocked readers upon its first publication. Dickens's portrayal of childhood innocence besieged by malevolence unfolds against the backdrop of London's dark criminal underworld, populated by vibrant and memorable characters—the sinister Fagin, the cunning Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes, and the tragic figure of Nancy. Merging elements of Gothic Romance, the Newgate Novel, and popular melodrama, Dickens crafted an entirely new genre of fiction, a scathing critique of a harsh society, permeated by an enduring sense of peril and enigma.