I checked this book out from the library because the back of the book promised a “mannish lady lawyer” named Sally Brass. Awesome, right? I feel like Dickens exercised a lot of self-restraint in not naming her “Sally Brass Balls” or something. And since she is kind of a literary mentor for me, obviously, it’s good to know that a lady’s practice of law leads to messy hair (check), spinsterdom and all manner of unfeminine behavior. Good to know.
The back of the book also refers, somewhat apologetically, to the “sentimentality” and “pathos” in its portrayal of the usual angelic orphans, which is semi-ludicrous…I think sentimentality and pathos, along with angelic orphans, mannish lady lawyers, gambling addicts, etc etc, are really what you want from a Dickens novel. What did the back of the book expect, Hemingway?
This book is also notable for the character of Quilp, a malevolent, wife-beating (or just verbal abuser? it’s unclear), evil mastermind of a moneylender who also happens to be a dwarf (stay klassy, Dickens!) and likes to perch on the backs of chairs, rubbing his hands together and laughing evilly over other peoples’ financial ruin.
So, yeah, I like this book so far, but am only halfway through. To be continued.