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Widely considered to be Dickens’s greatest satire on poverty, Little Dorrit is the story of Amy “Little” Dorrit’s struggle to hold her poverty-stricken family together in the face of her father’s imprisonment in the Marshalsea debtor’s prison. Called the “child of the Marshalsea,” Little Dorrit struggles to support her family as a seamstress while dreaming of a future free of the Marshalsea.

Little Dorrit was originally published as a serial between 1855 and 1857 as a critique of the British debtor’s prisons, in which debtors were imprisoned and unable to work until their debts were paid. The story pulls significantly from Dickens’s own experience as the child of an imprisoned debtor.

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