Charles Dickens� second novel, Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy�s Progress, was first published as a serial (in monthl y instalments) in the magazine Bentley�s Miscellany from February 1837 to April 1839. The novel was inspired by Robert Blincoe�s account of his childhood spent in a cotton mill. Oliver Twist, an orphan, is born in a w orkhouse and later sold off into an apprenticeship. Dickens situates his protagonist amid the squalid lives of beggars, criminals and petty thieves. Trapped in a world of corruption and poverty, Oliver with his pure heart is rewarded with a fair ytale ending. The dark reality of child labour, the effects of industrialisation and the condition of orphans in London in the mid-19th centur y form the crux of Dickens� heartrending novel.