Charles Dickens's original reading copy for the Sikes and Nancy murder scene from Oliver Twist no longer exists, but his annotations were authentically reproduced by the actress Adeline Billington who was lent a copy by the author. This extract reveals Dickens's emphasis on particular words and passages, highlighted by underlining and additional punctuation where the novelist strove to heighten the drama and horror of the scene. Billington's notes reveal the way in which Dickens carefully modulated the tension of the comparatively short scene, shifting from 'Action' to 'Mystery' to closing, ominously, with 'Terror to the End'. 

© Charles Dickens Museum