Introduction and Notes by Dr Ella Westland, University of Exeter. Illustrations by George Cruickshank. Dickens had already achieved renown with 'The Pickwick Papers'. With 'Oliver Twist' his reputation was enhanced and strengthened. The novel contains many classic Dickensian themes - grinding poverty, desperation, fear, temptation and the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity. 'Oliver Twist' features some of the author's most enduring characters, such as Oliver himself (who dares to ask for more), the tyrannical Bumble, the diabolical Fagin, the menacing Bill Sikes, Nancy and 'the Artful Dodger'. For any reader wishing to delve into the works of the great Victorian literary colossus, 'Oliver Twist' is, without doubt, an essential title. AUTHOR Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 ? 9 June 1870), pen-name "Boz", was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature's most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print. A concern with what he saw as the pressing need for social reform is a theme that runs throughout his work. Much of his work first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialised form, a favoured way of publishing fiction at the time. Dickens, unlike others who would complete entire novels before serial publication commenced, often wrote his in parts, in the order in which they were meant to appear. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one cliff-hanger after another to keep the public eager for the next instalment.