The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens  » Books  »
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  • However, when the grandfather keeps borrowing more and more and appears to have it all spent too fast, Quilp gets suspicious

    • by Lorianna
      all reviews
      Little Nell, a kind and beautiful 14 year old girl who has lost both of her parents, lives with her grandfather. Their life is surrounded in mystery.

      Every evening the grandfather leaves and spends the night somewhere else, returning early in the morning.

      Nell does not know where he goes and what he does; she is taught not to ask and not to talk about it, especially with strangers.

      Once in a


      while, the grandfather sends her to Mr.

      Quilp, the moneylender, to borrow considerable sums; of that, too, Nell is not supposed to speak.

      While she and her grandfather are living a rather modest life, they are thought to be rich; even Nell’s brother Fred, who is at odds with the grandfather, is convinced that he is hoarding money and Nell will be rich after his death.

      Being quite sure that he will ...


      • get nothing, Fred is plotting to have Nell marry his friend Richard, so that they can later split the fortune.

        Mr.

        Quilp, too, believes the old mad to be quite wealthy and secretly increasing his fortune, so he hopes to get a very nice return on the money he lends him.

        However, when the grandfather keeps borrowing more and more and appears to have it all spent too fast, Quilp gets suspicious.

        He does some spying and finds out that the old man has been gambling the money away.

        Furious, the moneylender calls in the debts and takes hold of the old man’s shop, house, and other possessions.

        The grandfather’s mind weakens because of the shock of all this, and he is under the threat of being locked up in a madhouse.

        Fearing separation more than anything, he and Little Nell flee from London.




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