Read by Martin Jarvis (Abridged: 2hrs 25mins)
There can be few writers who have painted such a penetrating picture of Victorian life. From the outset of the novel, following Oliver's birth and his mother's death, observe how Dickens vehemently satirises the hypocrisy of his society regarding its callous attitude towards the urban poor - most notably in the character of the self-important beadle Mr Bumble. Notice, also, how innocent Oliver is but a toy in the hands of the villains, who include the sly and miserly Fagin and ruthless and sadistic Bill Sikes, two of the author's most intriguing characters.
Charles Dickens Biography