"Little Dorrit" is a novel written by Charles Dickens, published serially from 1855 to 1857 and in book form in 1857. The novel attacks the injustices of the contemporary English legal system, particularly the institution of debtors' prison.
Dickens's masterpiece about prison life is set in an English debtors' prison where his own father had been imprisoned. Amy Dorrit, the heroine, has spent her entire life caring for her imprisoned father. The novel portrays both the physical and psychological horrors of imprisonment and the hypocrisy of a society that allows them to continue.
"Little Dorrit", like many of Charles Dickens' work, involves a large number of characters--from the mightiest to the lowliest--whose paths cross.
Amy Dorrit, referred to as Little Dorrit, is born in and lives much of her life at the Marshalsea prison, where her father is imprisoned for debt. She and her siblings earn meagre wages at jobs outside the prison walls, returning nightly to Marshalsea. Little Dorrit works as a seamstress for Mrs. Clennam, whose son Arthur takes an interest in the Dorrit family and eventually helps free Mr. Dorrit from prison.
Arthur becomes a debtor himself and falls in love with Little Dorrit...