"the latest pieces of work by Mr Dickens "
The Old Curiosity Shop in London, the alleged inspiration for the setting of Dickens' novel - Credit: Lonpicman
The reference is to The Old Curiosity Shop
, a novel written by Charles Dickens
and serialised 1840-41 in his weekly publication Master Humphrey’s Clock
. It was published in 1841 as a separate book. The story follows Nell Trent, an orphan who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities. After he loses all his money at gambling (in an attempt to win a fortune for his granddaughter) the pair are evicted and Nell takes her grandfather away to the Midlands to live as beggars and escape some of the more unsavoury characters they have fallen in with in London. The journey weakens her and she dies at the end of the novel – portrayed as infallibly good throughout, her death was one of the greatest tragedies of Victorian literature and had readers openly weeping in the street; most famously the Irish leader Daniel O’Connell
, who burst into tears and threw the book out of a train window when he read of her fate.