Search This Blog

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist was Charles Dickens's second novel. He wrote it while living at 48 Doughty Street, near Russell Square, Clerkenwell, London at a little table in the first floor living room. Dickens was frequently chatting to visitors as he penned his story.

The story was originally published by Richard Bentley in monthly installments in the Magazine Bentley's Miscellany from February 1837 to April 1839.

Oliver Twist first appeared in book form six months before the initial serialization was completed. They were published by Richard Bentley in three volumes, under the author's pseudonym, "Boz."

Frontispiece first edition "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist tells the story of an orphan boy and his adventures among London's slums. He meets the Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin.

British book illustrator George Cruikshank provided one steel etching per month to illustrate each installment in Magazine Bentley's Miscellany .

George Cruikshank's original engraving of the Artful Dodger introducing Oliver to Fagin

Oliver Twist may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of hardships as a child laborer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s.

The original of the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist was a young pickpocket whose trial Dickens attended and whose sentence the author regretfully recorded as a journalist (He got 7 years transportation).

The sinister villain Fagin was also the name of Charles Dickens best friend Bob Fagin.

Mr Brownlow in Oliver Twist was based on a real Mr Brownlow who was secretary of the Foundling Hospital for 58 years.

Charles Dickens made the first ever reference to fried fish when he referred to a "fried fish warehouse" in Oliver Twist.

Lionel Bart wrote a musical based on the book titled Oliver!, which premiered in the West End in 1960. It was a huge hit from the beginning, becoming the first modern British musical to be transferred successfully to Broadway.

The Broadway version of Oliver! at the Imperial Theatre

As a result of the success of Oliver!, Lionel Bart was earning £16 a minute. To finance his musical Twang!! (based on the Robin Hood story) the composer signed away all rights to Oliver! The new show flopped badly and Bart estimated he lost about £100 million in that and in the lost rights to Oliver! He filed for bankruptcy in 1972 with debts of £73,000.

Oliver! a 1968 British musical drama film based on the stage musical of the same name was released on September 26, 1968. It took $77,402,877 worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing movie of 1968.

Oliver! (1968 movie poster) Wikipedia

At the 41st Academy Awards for 1968, Oliver! was nominated for eleven Oscars and won six, including Awards for Best Picture, and Best Director for Carol Reed.

Oliver! is the only G-rated film (since the development of the MPAA rating system in 1968) to have received an Academy Award for Best Picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment