Background.

Little Dorrit.

itemClasping his wrists as if he were taking himself into custody” is a quotation from Little Dorrit (Book 1, Chapter 33).

item Little Dorrit was the eleventh novel from Charles Dickens, serialised between 1855 and 1857. A rags to riches story set in the 1820’s, Little Dorrit centres around the changing fortunes of the Dorrit family.

 

Context.

In this quotation, the wealthy but corrupt banker Mr. Merdle perhaps, subconsciously, hints at things to come.

Taken from the following passage in Book 1, Chapter 33 of Little Dorrit:

“However, as Mrs Merdle said, ‘You can come in!’ and as Mrs Gowan said she was just going, and had already risen to take her leave, he came in, and stood looking out at a distant window, with his hands crossed under his uneasy coat-cuffs, clasping his wrists as if he were taking himself into custody. In this attitude he fell directly into a reverie from which he was only aroused by his wife’s calling to him from her ottoman, when they had been for some quarter of an hour alone.

‘Eh? Yes?’ said Mr Merdle, turning towards her. ‘What is it?’

‘What is it?’ repeated Mrs Merdle. ‘It is, I suppose, that you have not heard a word of my complaint.’

‘Your complaint, Mrs Merdle?’ said Mr Merdle. ‘I didn’t know that you were suffering from a complaint. What complaint?’

‘A complaint of you,’ said Mrs Merdle.”

 

 

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