Oliver Twist toby jug produced by Bairstow Manor Pottery of Hanley, England, circa 1985. Oliver Twist is the hero and title character of Charles Dickens' novel "Oliver Twist" (1837). Twist is an orphan who escapes from the work house of Mr. Bumble and runs away to London. There he encounters the Artful Dodger and is recruited into a band of street urchins and thieves led by Fagin. Escaping Fagin, he is recaptured by Bill Sykes and his lover, Nancy. He escapes once more with the help of Nancy, who in turn is killed by Sykes for her betrayal. Oliver ends up in the care of lost relatives with a surprise inheritance and blissful existence in the countryside. As a child hero of a novel of social protest, Oliver Twist is meant to appeal more to our sentiments than to our literary sensibilities. Throughout the novel, Dickens uses Oliver's character to criticize public policy towards the poor in 1830s England and to challenge the Victorian idea that paupers and criminals are already evil at birth, arguing instead that a corrupt environment is the source of vice.
Staffordshire Character Jugs Series