The Old Curiosity Shop is a novel by Charles Dickens. The plot follows the life of Nell Trent and her grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London.
The Old Curiosity Shop was one of two novels (the other being Barnaby Rudge) which Dickens published along with short stories in his weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock, which lasted from 1840 to 1841. The Old Curiosity Shop was printed as a separate book in 1841.
The events of the book seem to take place around 1825. In Chapter 29, Miss Monflathers refers to the death of Lord Byron, who died on April 19, 1824. When the inquest rules (incorrectly) that Quilp committed suicide, his corpse is ordered to be buried at a crossroads with a stake through its heart, a practice banned in 1826. And Nell's grandfather, after his breakdown, fears that he shall be sent to a madhouse, and there chained to a wall and whipped; these practices went out of use after about 1830. In Chapter 13, the lawyer Mr. Brass is described as "one of Her Majesty's attornies" , putting him in the reign of Queen Victoria, which began in 1837, but given all the other evidence, and the fact that Kit, at his trial, is charged with acting "against the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King" (referring to George IV), this must be a slip of the pen.
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