Written in the years 1840 to 1841, when Dickens was twenty-eight years old, this is a ‘Road’ tale in the very best tradition. Little Nell Trent and her Grandfather are the main characters, who secretly set off from their home under cover of night, to escape the wicked dwarf Quilp. Pursued across England, their adventures lead them through poverty stricken city areas where several destitute people offer them aid on their way, into the countryside where they meet the strange, colorful, and sometimes menacing characters for which Dickens is so well known. Grandfather’s mind begins to wander, and he leans even more for help on Nell, who herself is feeling ill and weak. Eventually they reach a safe pasture with a kind gentleman and think their troubles may be over, but heart-breaking tragedy strikes.
(Summary by Mil Nicholson)