Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens is a classic tale of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, while Dickens' working title for the novel, Nobody's Fault, highlights its concern with personal responsibility in private and public life. Dickens' childhood experiences inform the vivid scenes in Marshalsea debtor's prison, while his adult perceptions of governmental failures shape his satirical picture of the Circumlocution Office. The novel's range of characters - the honest, the crooked, the selfish and the self-denying - offers a portrait of society about whose values Dickens had profound doubts.
Little Dorrit is indisputably one of Dickens' finest works, written at the height of his powers. George Bernard Shaw called it "a masterpiece among masterpieces', a vedict shared by the novel's many admirers.