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Analysis

Little Dorrit Allusions & Cultural References

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

The Arabian Nights (1.3)
Shakespeare, Hamlet (1.3)
Minotaur's Maze (1.5)
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1.13)
The Whole Duty of Man (1.13)
Doctor Buchan, Domestic Medicine (1.16)
Lord Chesterfield (1.19)
Plutarch, Parallel Lives (1.24)
Aesop, Fables (1.31)
Shakespeare, The Tempest (1.34)
Eustace, A Classical Tour through Italy (2.5)
Gay, The Beggar's Opera (2.12)
Boswell, Life of Johnson (2.12)
Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress (2.15)
Holbein, Dance of Death (2.21)
Swift, Gulliver's Travels (2.24)
Shakespeare, Macbeth (2.25)

Biblical Shout-Outs

Tower of Babel (1.1)
St. Paul's Second Epistle (1.3)
Exodus (1.3)
Lord's Prayer (1.5)
Book of Mark (1.10)
Old Testament Patriarchs (1.13)
Book of Common Prayer (1.19)
Genesis (1.23)
Sermon on the Mount (1.27)
Luke, the Good Samaritan (1.31)
Matthew (1.33)
Job (2.28)
Jezebel (2.30)

Historical References

Crimean War (Preface)
Sadleir scandal – one of the many failed/fraudulent entrepreneurs Merdle is based on (Preface)
Thomas Coram Foundling Hospital (1.2)
Captain James Cook (1.2)
Marshalsea Prison (throughout)
Beau Nash, the King of Bath (1.9)
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1.10)
Utilitarianism/Benthamism (1.11)
Guy Fawkes Day (1.24)
William Henry Russell's reports from the Crimean War (1.26)
Great Saint Bernard Hospice in the Alps (2.1)
Maecenas (2.7)
The Dying Gladiator sculpture (2.9)
Dick Whittington (2.12)
Bedlam Hospital (2.31)

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