'You talk very easily of hours, sir! How long do you suppose, sir, that an hour is
to a man who is choking for want of air?'
A masterly evocation of
the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is one of the supreme works
of Dickens's maturity.
When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many
years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, and in
the affairs of Amy's father, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the
Marshalsea. As Arthur discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its
walls to affect many lives, from Mr Panks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart
Yard, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier.
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