by Charles Dickens
Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
For a book with as many prostitutes as this one has, there are remarkably few sex scenes. We assume that Nancy is a prostitute (Dickens never actually comes out and says it) and that Bill Sikes is her live-in lover—that’s pretty risqué by Victorian standards.
And we know that Harry Maylie is in love with his adopted sister, Rose. Ignoring the icky near-incestuousness of their relationship (Dickens’s contemporary audience probably wouldn’t have even noticed it), it could be kind of sweet that Harry has a crush on Rose. And because so much of the sexy stuff is glossed over and left to the imagination, we’re only giving Oliver Twist a PG.