Set in 1830s London, England. Oliver is born in a workhouse and treated cruelly there as was the norm at the time for pauper children, in particular by Bumble, a parish council official. The story follows Oliver as he escapes the workhouse and runs away to London. Here he receives an education in villainy from the criminal gang of Fagin that includes the brutal thief Bill Sikes, the famous 'Artful Dodger' and Nancy, Bill's whore. Oliver is rescued by the intervention of a benefactor - Mr Brownlow - but the mysterious Monks gets the gang to kidnap the boy again. Nancy intervenes but is murdered viciously by Sikes after she has showed some redeeming qualities and has discovered Monk's sinister intention. The story closes happily and with justice for Bumble and the cruel Monks who has hidden the truth of Oliver's parentage out of malice.
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