All the Year Round: Volumes 5-6

Charles Dickens



Additional Information

Charles Dickens
Read more
Published on
Dec 31, 1861
Read more
Read more
Read more
Best For
Read more
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.


I have been occupied with this story, during many working hours of

two years. I must have been very ill employed, if I could not

leave its merits and demerits as a whole, to express themselves on

its being read as a whole. But, as it is not unreasonable to

suppose that I may have held its threads with a more continuous

attention than anyone else can have given them during its desultory

publication, it is not unreasonable to ask that the weaving may be

looked at in its completed state, and with the pattern finished.

If I might offer any apology for so exaggerated a fiction as the

Barnacles and the Circumlocution Office, I would seek it in the

common experience of an Englishman, without presuming to mention

the unimportant fact of my having done that violence to good

manners, in the days of a Russian war, and of a Court of Inquiry at

Chelsea. If I might make so bold as to defend that extravagant

conception, Mr Merdle, I would hint that it originated after the

Railroad-share epoch, in the times of a certain Irish bank, and of

one or two other equally laudable enterprises. If I were to plead

anything in mitigation of the preposterous fancy that a bad design

will sometimes claim to be a good and an expressly religious

design, it would be the curious coincidence that it has been

brought to its climax in these pages, in the days of the public

examination of late Directors of a Royal British Bank. But, I

submit myself to suffer judgment to go by default on all these

counts, if need be, and to accept the assurance (on good authority)

that nothing like them was ever known in this land.

Some of my readers may have an interest in being informed whether

or no any portions of the Marshalsea Prison are yet standing. I

did not know, myself, until the sixth of this present month, when

I went to look. I found the outer front courtyard, often mentioned

here, metamorphosed into a butter shop; and I then almost gave up

every brick of the jail for lost. Wandering, however, down a

certain adjacent 'Angel Court, leading to Bermondsey', I came to

'Marshalsea Place:' the houses in which I recognised, not only as

the great block of the former prison, but as preserving the rooms

that arose in my mind's-eye when I became Little Dorrit's

biographer. The smallest boy I ever conversed with, carrying the

largest baby I ever saw, offered a supernaturally intelligent

explanation of the locality in its old uses, and was very nearly

correct. How this young Newton (for such I judge him to be) came

by his information, I don't know; he was a quarter of a century too
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.