Preface to the 'Cheap Edition' of Oliver Twist

This is Dickens's handwritten preface to the 'cheap edition' of Oliver Twist. In it he refutes claims made by critics that the kind of squalid conditions described in 'Jacob's Island' did not exist in reality. He appeals to his readers to recognise the fact that reforms were desperately needed to improve the living conditions of the poor. Cheap editions of Dickens's novels were produced to bring the works to a wider audience.